Common Aeroplane - Phaedyma shepherdi


This page contains information and pictures about Common Aeroplane Butterflies in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.

Wingspan 65mm
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Common Aeroplane also known as White-banded Plane. We saw the butterfly a few times along the creeks near Mt Glorious and along Bulimba Creek in Brisbane. Notice the pattern on their wings look like a cat face. This explains why they dare to glide freely and not worry about being preyed by birds. 
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The butterfly glides with their wings straight flat. It looks similar to the Common Crow Butterfly but can be distinguished by the way they fly. When rest, they like to rest on leaf about two meters above ground.
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Length up to 30mm 
The caterpillar is well-camouflaged on the leave. It just looked like one of the broken dry edges it made on the leave. The Caterpillar is coloured with patches of grayish-green and brown. It has five pairs of spiny filaments, with the largest pair on thorax. The pupa is patchy brown, hangs under leaf of food plant.

Host Plants

Chinese Elm
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Celtis sinensis 
Above picture shows the plant, Chinese Elm (Celtis sinensis) ,  that we found the caterpillar.  

1. Butterflies of Australia and New Guinea - Barrett, Charles and A. N. Burns, Melbourne, N. H. Seward, 1951, p112.
2. Phaedyma shepherdi - Australian Caterpillars, Don Herbison-Evans & Stella Crossley, 2005.
3. Wild Plants of Greater Brisbane -  Queensland Museum, 2003, p343, Chinese Elm (Celtis sinensis). 
4. The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia - Michael F Braby, Australian National University, CSIRO 2004, p190.
5. Australian Tropical Butterflies - by Peter Valentine, photography by Clifford and Dawn Frith, 2nd Printing 1991, p30.
6. Create More Butterflies -  by Frank Jordan and Helen Schwencke, Earthling Enterprises, 2005, p47. 

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Last updated: February 26, 2011.