These web pages document the butterflies that have been recorded in the Mount Alexander Shire. The information is based on work done by butterfly enthusiast and CFNC member, the late Tony Morton. One of the aims of this site is to show images of the butterflies as they appear in the field as this will be what most observers see. Where available the photos are of actual butterflies seen in the Mount Alexander region. You can find out more about butterflies in general by clicking here and read more information about each species by clicking on the butterfly name in the index below.

One of the best ways to identify butterflies is with a photo from the field. We encourage you to photograph butterflies that you see and post the images on iNaturalist where they will contribute to our understanding of the local butterfly fauna. Please contact us at castlemainefnc@hotmail.com if you have photographs of any of the butterflies where we are missing good photographs of the butterflies in the wild.

Skippers

Family Hesperiidae

These small butterflies (20-50mm wingspan) are usually orange and/or brown. They have stout bodies and widely spaced antenna. They are low flying with a jerky flight. Most species use grasses and sedges as the larval food.

Swallowtails

Family Papilionidae

These are large bright coloured butterflies with wingspans often greater than 100mm. Some species have characteristic ‘tails’ on their hind wings. This is the smallest family of butterflies in Victoria.

Whites and Yellows

Family Pieridae

These are medium-sized butterflies usually with a wingspan around 50mm but this may range from 25mm – 70mm. The dominant colour is either white or yellow, often with black markings.

Browns and Nymphs

Family Nymphalidae

These butterflies have predominantly brown and orange markings. They are medium-sized, with a wingspan ranging from 30mm to 90mm. These are some of the commonest butterflies of temperate woodlands.

Blues and Coppers

Family Lycaenidae

Butterflies in this family are generally small (15mm – 50mm wingspan) with either blue or copper iridescent wing markings. The hindwing of some species has a short tail. Many members of this group have a symbiotic association with ants who tend the larvae in return for a milky exudate which they feed on. Unlike other butterfly groups, markings on the under wing are often critical for field identification.

Photo Credits

Yellow Ochre – Kerrie Jennings
Dainty Swallowtail – Noel Young
Imperial Jezebel – Mez Woodward
Red-spotted Jezebel – Albert Wright (www.wrightouthere.com/)
Cabbage White – Noel Young
Tailed Emperor – Linda Rogan/iNaturalist
Eltham Copper – Hans van Gemert
Two-spotted Line-blue – Mez Woodward
Other photos by Euan Moore. All photos used with permission of the photographer and remain copyright of the photographer. Please contact CFNC for further information.