The Tawny Coster has recently reached the Whitsundays. This photo from Dingo Beach on 23/7/17.
The Tawny Coster Butterfly has arrived in the Whitsundays. This butterfly is a native of India and Sri Lanka and has been spreading through SE Asia reaching Australia’s northern shores sometime in early 2012. Since then it has steadily increased its range southward reaching Townsville earlier this year. Now they have reached Dingo Beach and continue to push southward along the coast. In March I also saw them in large numbers in SW Qld at Welford National Park but they had virtually disappeared by July. This is an example of a natural self-introduction of a species to Australia and they are thought not cause any environmental or agricultural threat. There is some comment that its spread may have been aided by land clearing in SE Asia and by global warming effects. The main caterpillar food plant for the Tawny Coster in Australia is the Lilac Spade-flower (Hybanthus enneaspermus).
Ref. A colourful new Australian reaches Talaroo: the Tawny Coster butterfly, Acraea terpsicore
By Donald C. Franklin, Scott C. Morrison and Gary W. Wilson – North Queensland Naturalist 47 (2017)
|Information sources:||Photo taken at Dingo Beach by Graham Armstrong|