Up-close: butterfly wings
MORE THAN 400 species of butterfly call Australia home, favouring the continents warm tropical climate. Their wings, decorated in intricate, colourful signals, are made up of thousand of tiny scales, which are strengthened by ridges that interact with light creating incredible optical effects.
John Van Tiggelen, a nature writer, explained that the brightness of butterflies wings has long confused scientists as conspicuousness typically increases an insects chances of being eaten, however because the butterfly is unpalatable, their colours warn animals of their toxic taste. See some of these painted ladies up-close.
Orchard Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio aegeus) found in eastern Australia, from Queensland to Victoria.
The Cairns Birdwing Butterfly (Ornithoptera priamus) found in Queensland, from Cooktown to Mackay. It is the largest butterfly in Australia.
Ulysses Butterfly (Papilio ulysses) found in the rain forests of North Queensland.
The Common Jezebel (Delias nigrina) found in east Australia to South New South Wales.
The Australian Admiral (Vanessa itea) widespread from Queensland through to New Sotuh Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and south Western Australia.
Another close up of the Common Jezebel (Delias nigrina) found in east Australia to South NSW.
The Monarch Butterfly (Delias nigrina) found in eastern and southern Australia, in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.