Sunday, 22 December 2013

Adelaide and Kangaroo Island Butterflies

I have finally walked on Aussie ground and I must say that I loved
every bit of it! We visited Adelaide since we have cousins living 
there, and even took a ferry to the beautiful  Kangaroo Island. It
was an amazing experience; the weather, the people and the 
nature. I'll get on with the butterflies first. Here we have the near
abundant Australian Painted Lady. They were everywhere but were
ever so lovely. Plus, there are none back in the sunny island.

There were painted ladies on almost every flower patch in the
Adelaide Botanic Garden. They would hop from flower to flower
then fly off to bask on the ground or a rock.

Cabbage Whites were also in good supply but they hardly stopped
to rest. This butterfly was actually accidentally introduced into
Australia along with many other foreign species during the eighteenth
century when the first European settlers arrived in the continent. 

In the woodlands, the most dominant butterfly was the Common
Brown. It is more orange than brown, and makes Singapore's 
delicate mycalesis browns look dull! They belong to a genus of
butterflies endemic to the Australia. Here is the male. I was not 
able to get a shot of the larger and more spectacular female.

The most exciting encounter was my first Monarch Butterfly. It
is probably the best known butterfly around the world. Very often
the species that flutters by in the mind once the word 'butterfly' 
is mentioned would be this species! Its amazing migration is one of 
nature's wonders and has earned it its Aussie name: the Wanderer. 

The size of the monarch caught me by surprise; it was quite a bit 
larger than its Singaporean counterpart, the Common Tiger. Lastly, 
we have the diminutive Common Grass Blue. Being very similar to 
the blues I see along the roadsides in Singapore, they did not excite 
me quite as much as the Monarch but were a lovely sight nonetheless.

That's all for the butterflies. I saw far more birds during the trip
though. The place was like an enormous bird park. Anyway that
would be my material for next week's post. On a side note, Christmas
is only three days away. I'm finishing up all my gifts for my family,
one being the waxwing painting. I can't wait for the holiday!


  1. Interesting post. The Australian Painted Lady seems to be subtly different from the Painted Lady that occurs around the rest of the world. It is interesting that they have a separate species in Australia, but I suppose they are a long way away from anywhere else!
    The Cabbage White gets everywhere!
    I like the Common Brown. It reminds me a great deal of the European Wall Brown.
    I love comparing butterflies from around the world.
    You surprise me that you haven't seen a Monarch before. I had assumed that they would have occured in Singapore. I've got so much to learn.

  2. Haha. Happy Christmas Nick. I did read up a little about the painted lady. It seems to vary a fair bit in different places. We don't have Monarchs here but we have many of its smaller relatives, the Tigers and Crows.