General Description

Above: black and white with a grey forewing (male) or cream forewing (female). Below: red and yellow spots on the hindwing. Hindwings without tails. Antennae clubbed. Wingspan up to 7 cm.


These butterflies are common in summer. They breed on mistletoe plants. Male butterflies patrol around the tallest trees on the hills and ridges, waiting for the arrival of newly emerged females so they can mate with them. Eggs are laid in clusters. The young caterpillars feed on mistletoe leaves together during the day, but more mature caterpillars spread out to feed. Cocoons (pupae) resemble bird droppings.


Eastern and western mainland Australia.


A wide range of habitats where mistletoe plants grow from wet heathland to mallee.

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