BUT­TER­FLY GUIDE

NZ Gardener - - The Good Life -

Monarchs are the most com­monly seen but­ter­flies, but here are some others worth look­ing out for:

• Red ad­mi­rals ( Vanessa goner­illa) are en­demic and found through­out New Zealand. Their pre­ferred host plant where eggs are laid is the na­tive tree net­tle, Ur­tica ferox or on­gaonga.

They are fairly com­mon ex­cept around Auck­land where the tree net­tle is rare and in the far north. Look for red ad­mi­rals year round in clear­ings and mar­gins of bush, parks and gar­dens.

• Yel­low ad­mi­rals ( Vanessa itea) are self-in­tro­duced from Aus­tralia and are widely dis­trib­uted around the coun­try. Eggs are usu­ally laid on in­tro­duced sting­ing net­tles Ur­tica dioica.

Adults are found in open coun­try, parks and gar­dens.

• Com­mon blues ( Ziz­ina labradus) are wide­spread through Aus­tralia, the Pa­cific Is­lands and the North Is­land, and north­ern and western South Is­land.

Adults can be seen fly­ing low in sunny spots in gar­dens, farm­land and waste­ground from spring to au­tumn.

Eggs are laid on low-grow­ing legumes like clover and tre­foil va­ri­eties.

• Com­mon cop­pers (Ly­caena species) are en­demic with very sim­i­lar species lo­cally abun­dant through­out the coun­try. They are found all year round in bush clear­ings and mar­gins, scrub, sand dunes and tus­socks.

The eggs are laid on po¯hue­hue ( Muehlen­beckia com­plexa), and the lar­vae eat the leaves and the flow­ers.

Com­mon cop­pers.

Com­mon blues.

Red ad­mi­rals.

Yel­low ad­mi­rals.

Ur­tica dioica.

Clover.

Muehlen­beckia.

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