Lesser Wanderer - Danaus petilia (was D. chrysippus petilia)


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

Wingspan 60mm, male
Lesser Wanderer is a medium size butterfly. They are sometimes seen flying solely across the bushes on a sunny day. They look similar to Wanderer Butterfly, with orange colour wings and dark edge, but they also have larger white pattern on their forewings. Same as Wanderer, Lesser Wanderer caterpillars also feed on milkweed plants. 
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The Lesser Wanderer butterfly is bright orange in colour with dark wing edges. There are the white patterns on the forewings. 
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The above picture shows the mating pair. The female and male Lesser Wanderer Butterflies look the same. 
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Except feeding on flowers, Lesser Wanderer likes to rest on short grass near the ground. 
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This butterfly usually flies slowly from one to two meters above ground.  
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Caterpillars and Pupa 

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Caterpillar length up to 50mm 
Their caterpillars look similar to the Wanderer caterpillar except with three pair of tentacles (the horns) instead of two. Their caterpillars also feed on milkweeds and the adults are not 'tasty'.

1. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p897.
2. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus & Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, p461.
3. Create More Butterflies -  by Frank Jordan and Helen Schwencke, Earthling Enterprises, 2005, p29.  
4. The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia - Michael F Braby, Australian National University, CSIRO 2004, p200.

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Last updated: September 19, 2010.