Saturday, 21 November 2015

An Infrequent Visitor

This season we have prepared our front garden with many species of flowering plants with the prospect of attracting butterflies to our home. One or two species have begun to show.

Over the past two days we have been blessed with visits from a beautiful, white butterfly with black markings. On the underside of its wings are additional yellow markings. This butterfly would appear to be a Caper White (Belenois java), an infrequent visitor to Sydney.
A Caper White Butterfly drinking from our path after
we watered our vegetable garden

The Caper White is commonly found west of the Great Dividing Range where it feeds on capparis species bushes (Capers). So why is this showy creature present in our garden?

Over the past few days, Sydney has been subjected to intense heat (40C+) and westerly winds emanating from the hot deserts and inland areas of the country. These winds appear to have carried the Caper Whites well off course. In fact, while driving yesterday, we suspect that we saw a veritable cloud of Caper Whites flying north across the Greystanes area. This occasional phenomenon is recorded in other available websites. 


One wonders what food plants these remarkable creatures can uncover in an urban garden such as mine under these conditions.


References...
http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/sydbuts.html
http://australianmuseum.net.au/caper-white-butterfly

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