Butterflies on Black Mountain
Black Mountain is regarded as a “hotspot” for butterflies, and we have enjoyed the Butterfly Walks led by Dr Suzi Bond.
The following butterflies were seen here in the last few years.
|Macleay's Swallowtail||Imperial Hairstreak||Golden Ant-blue|
|Dainty Swallowtail||Spotted Jezebel||Broad-margined Azure|
|Bronze Flat||Imperial Jezebel||Varied Dusky-blue|
|Heath Ochre||Australian Painted Lady||Blotched Dusky-blue|
|Montane Ochre||Meadow Argus||Fringed Heath-blue|
|Flame Sedge-skipper||Tailed Emperor||Wattle Blue|
|Cabbage White||Common Brown||Saltbush Blue|
|Caper White||Marbled Xenica||Common Grass-blue|
Suzi’s book, Field Guide to Butterflies in the Australian Capital Territory (2016), has wonderful information and illustrations.
Butterflies go through different stages; egg, caterpillar and butterfly. As caterpillars they enjoy food plants, but when they become butterflies they seek nectar.
What are some of the plants that caterpillars like?
As caterpillars, they enjoy being on Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata) and Black Wattle, Green Wattle (Acacia mearnsii), Hickory Wattle (Acacia implexa), in mistletoe (Amyema miguelii, Amyema pendula), grasses such as Spikey-headed Mat-rush (Lomandra longifolia), Grasses and Sedges e.g. Poacea spp Hooked Sedge (Carex appresssa), and ground cover such as False Sarsaparilla and Purple Coral pea (Hardenbergia violacea).
When they emerge as butterflies, they are interested in nectar in acacia, eucalyptus and tea-trees, and other plants. On Black Mountain, this includes the acacia trees mentioned above and Hickory Wattle (Acacia implexa), the Scribbly Gum (Eucalyptus rossii), Brittle Gum (E. mannifera), Broad-leaved Peppermint (E. dives), Red Box (E. polyanthemus), Prickly Tea-tree (Leptospermum continentale), and Silver Tea-tree (Leptospermum multicaule).
It is good to see clusters of flowers because the butterflies love blue, yellow and red flowers. So they could be seen on the native Bluebells (Wahlenbegria spp), daisies such as the Sticky Everlasting (Xeroshrysum viscosum), Yellow Buttons (Chrysocephalum apiculatum), and Clustered Everlasting (Chrysocephalum semipapposum), or the red flowers of the Mountain Grevillea (Grevillea alpina).
They also like Australian Blackthorn shrub (Bursonia spinosa) and the climber Small-leaved Clematis (Clematis leptophylla), as well as the purple pea flower ground-cover (Hardenbergia violacea).
Some butterflies seen on Black Mountain
Some of the plants butterflies like