Lovely photo. It is of a female "Big Greasy" - Eurycus cressida
cressida, unless the taxonomists have changed things since my copy of
"Butterflies of Australia and New Guinea" by Barrett and Burns (Seward &
C0., Melbourne, 1951) was written.
The male is more coloured - his hind-wing is black and white with red spots
- reminiscent of that of the female "Orange Butterfly" should you be
familiar with the species and can identify it from that common name we kids
used for it in the 1930s - because the larvae feed on Citrus leaves.
This is the description given in the book of the male Greasy:
"The forewings of the male are transparent, with two large black spots,
one in the cell and the other at its outer end. The hindwings are black,
with a broad white marking through which black v4eins pass, and in the black
margins obscure red spots occur. The underside is similar to the upper side
but the reddish spots are much brighter and more closely defined."
A more handsome creature than the female, which as your photo shows:
"... is almost completely transparent with the exception of the
hindwings which have a few scales nearf the margin."
She is a bit special however:
"After fertilization, the female has a peculiar external pouch, or
"sphragidus", attached to the undserside of the extremity of the abdomen.
This peculiarity is found elsewwhere only in the genus Parnassius, which is
not represented in Australia."
Can't turn your photo over to check the underside, alas. :-)
> From: "Steve" <>
> Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2010 20:49:56 +1000
> To: <>
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Off topic: Butterfly ID
> Hell all. Sorry for an off topic query, but I know there are Butterfly
> people out there. This was taken at Samsonvale Cemetery near Brisbane.
> Can anyone help with the ID?
> Cheers Steve Murray
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