Animal Species:Orchard Butterfly
The Orchard Butterfly is not so popular with citrus farmers because of their caterpillars' fruit diet.
Standard Common Name
Adult Orchard Butterflies are large, black and white butterflies common in Sydney's suburban gardens from October to May. The undersides of their wings have striking colours, which are not always obvious when they fly.
The Orchard Butterfly is found in eastern Australia, from Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
The Orchard Butterfly lives in urban areas, forests and woodlands.
Feeding and Diet
The diet of the Orchard Butterfly's larvae includes cultivated citrus trees such as orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit and mandarin. They also feed on a number of native and other introduced plants.
Other behaviours and adaptations
The caterpillars of the Orchard Butterfly have developed ingenious ways of protecting themselves from predators. During the early part of their life cycle they look like fresh bird droppings. As they grow, they develop spines and red tentacles that emit a foul smell.
Males can be territorial and will chase anything black and white that enters their territory - even Magpies.