Where Have All the Butterflies Gone?
With our big move to the Mid North Coast of New South Wales happening, this is the appropriate time to provide a round-up of the butterfly sightings we have made in our little Sydney garden over the past six years. One might be surprised by the variety of our sightings, but disturbingly, in our last season there were far fewer sightings of these beautiful insects.
Firstly, let’s blame the removal of specific food trees for the butterflies in our immediate neighbourhood. Secondly, however, the rampant over-development taking place in the Sydney Basin, and particularly in our locale was a major negatively-impacting influence. The loss of suburban backyards to more-upon-more so-called Granny Flats, to increasing numbers of Duplex developments and to burgeoning high-rise, apartment-living developments have led to the clearing of traditional home gardens and native vegetation, both of which provide habitat and fodder for butterflies and other urban wildlife.
I wonder when this insane and unsustainable development will ever stop!
A regular visitor over the years, sightings of the Tiger Moth actually increased over 2018. In fact, many were lured indoors through opened doors, attracted by interior lighting, on balmy summer evenings.
Over the years, a frequent visitor to the flower garden of our front yard, the Painted lady was rarely seen in 2018.
Normally easy to find in meadows, as the name suggests, or parkland areas, the Meadow Argus could regularly be seen in our front flower garden.
Very rarely seen in our neighbourhood and only once photographed, this Orchard Swallowtail was found on the leaves of our macadamia tree.
|White Banded Plane|
Previously unsighted, the White Banded Plane made infrequent visits to our home in 2018.
Members of this group of butterflies, noted for their swift flight, were regular visitors to our backyard home orchard of sub-tropical trees and Asian vegetables.
Photographed taking a drink from a damp path. Caper White butterflies are infrequent visitors to Sydney. However, when sighted, one is likely to make multiple sightings of this beautiful member of the butterfly family.
Photographed in 2016 on our China Doll shrub, this was our one-and-only sighting of this creature.
Apologies for the poor quality photograph. However, this was our only sighting of this butterfly over more than six years. Here, it is feeding on Alyssum.
Seen and photographed only once, Schistophleps albida is resting on a ripening mango
Wishing you hours of enjoyment and contentment in your garden…