Fuscous Swallowtail (Papilio fuscus capaneus)
Not as common as the Orchid Swallowtail is its cousin, the Fuscous Swallowtail and I’ve been lucky enough to witness two on my backyard fence this season. They have the most incredible osmeterium which erect out of their heads if they are sensing a threat. This species has a large number of host-plants a lot of them citrus. Keep an eye out on your lemon and lime trees.
Ulysses (Papilio ulysses)
Are probably one of the most popular and well-known butterflies to be seen in the Cairns Botanic Gardens. You can often see them flying above the footpaths and roads. Some speculate that this is because they appear like creeks and streams to the flutter-bys as they look for their host plant alongside these waterways. The caterpillars (larvae) of the Ulysses butterfly go through a number of phases (instars). This individual is somewhere in the middle. It will go through another few molts and changed colouration and texture before it makes its final metamorphosis inside its chrysalis to become the stunning metallic blue butterfly that has become an icon of the wet tropics. The caterpillars are by far easier subject to photograph.
Fruit Piercing Moth (Eudocima fullonia)
A really impressive species that I have seen both in rainforests and backyards is this stunning caterpillar. The moth is apparently considered a pest in the agriculture industry due to their name-sake. But wow, look at those fake eyes! It’s hard to not be wowed by this beauty!
Australian Leafwing (Doleschallia bisaltide)
This glamourous caterpillar is the larvae of a beautiful garden favourite. The wings look like golden autumn leaves, especially the undersides. According to The Australian Butterfly House, The caterpillar can be found on a number of host-plants. I’ve often found this caterpillar on backyard fence vines, and even on over-grown lawns.
Fuscous Swallowtail larvae (Papilio fuscus capaneus), Ulysses larvae (Papilio ulysses), Fruit Piercing Moth larvae (Eudocima fullonia), Australian Leafwing (Doleschallia bisaltide)