Migratory Butterflies

In some years, enormous numbers of butterflies are seen flying through an area in the same general direction. These butterfly migrations often span large distances and for some species head in a consistent direction during particular seasons.

Some commonly seen migrating species include:

Caper White
Belenois java

Breeds in vast numbers on trees and shrubs of the genus Capparis (Wild Caper, Mock Orange), which are more common inland. Migrations of adults often coincide with the first stormy, hot weather of summer and enormous numbers of Caper Whites sometimes aggregate on coastal headlands before flying out to sea.

Caper White, Belenois java

Blue Tiger
Tirumala hamata

Various habitats, but breeds in monsoonal and littoral rainforest. Northern NT, coastal eastern Qld to northern NSW. Adults disperse as far south as Vic. Also the Philippines, Indonesia to Solomon Is., Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.

Sometimes enormous migrations of adults pass through the Greater Brisbane Area. While most accounts record them flying south in spring they appear non-directional in the autumn.

Blue Tiger, Tirumala hamata

Lemon Migrant
Catopsilia pomona

Massive migrations sometimes occur with the butterflies usually flying from south to north. In suburban Brisbane, the green larvae usually feed on Golden Rain Trees (Cassia fistula).

Lemon Migrant, Catopsilia pomona

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