Orchard Butterfly

Orchard Butterfly

Papilio aegus

Orchard butterflies like rainforest and woodland habitats and backyards.

Males are brown with a stipe across the forewing and a pale patch and red spot on the hindwing. Females are larger and possess more ornate patterning. Hindwings contain a number of red and blue spots and forewings are adorned with a large light band across the uppermost part of the wing.

Orchard caterpillars feed on citrus and adults feed on the nectar of the non-native plant lantana.

Male orchard butterflies are very territorial and have been known to chase away magpies. Early in their life they resemble bird droppings as a defense mechanism, which later develops into spines and tentacles which omit a foul smell.