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Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!
Image contributed by Australian
photographer Ian Daley..
Also known as the Australian Admiral. (The Māori name is kahukowhai, which means "yellow cloak")
Adults fly in all warmer months of the year, so their active periods vary from location to location.
The dorsal forewings are dark brown to black, with three small patches of white and a broad yellow bar and dull red near the body.
The dorsal hindwings are dull red with a black border and a row of black circles with blue centers close to the edge.
The ventral side wing is quite different in appearance, with varying shades of brown and irregular markings. The ventral forewing is black with a blue eyespot complimented by yellow areas above and below.
They prefer open territory and gardens, and can be found at elevations up to 1,000 m. above sea level.
As members of the Nymphalidae (Brush Footed) family, they use their very short pair of front legs for food smelling and tasting, and their two pairs of longer rear legs for propulsion.
Diet: caterpilars feed at night on nettles exclusively.
Diet: adults take flower nectar and sap from trees.
Avg. wingspan: 4.8 - 5.5 cm / 1.9 - 2.16".
The single biggest threat to butterfly survival is habitat destruction!!
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