Tailed Emperor - Polyura pyrrhus


This page contains pictures and information about Tailed Emperor Butterflies in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Wingspan 75mm, just came out from pupa 


PWC_7339.jpg (141495 bytes) PWC_7341.jpg (274605 bytes)
The caterpillars of Tailed Emperor are green in colour with four-horned head. They feed on various species of Wattle and some other plants such as Poinciana and Chinese Elm, . They rest on silken pad on plants from which they make short trip to feed on leaves near by and return. The above photos were taken on Nov 2008 in Yugarapul Park. The caterpillar was on Chinese Elm (Celtis sinensis) leaves.


wpe1A.jpg (25919 bytes) PWC_7672.jpg (121461 bytes)
We found a green butterfly pupa in our backyard in late summer. We check that this looked like a Tailed Emperor Butterfly pupa. However, about two weeks later, we saw there are many holes on the pupa and more than 20 Chalcid Wasps had came out from the pupa.  


 PC9_0672.jpg (80680 bytes)
Wingspan 80mm
In Brisbane, we found that the Tailed Emperor Butterflies are easily be seen on top of White Hill. They rest on the top of the trees, fly strong and high. Usually two males are seen chasing each other high in the sky. We also found them near the hill top of Anstead Forest.
DSC_2990.jpg (166290 bytes) DSC_2993.jpg (138756 bytes)

The development cycle

On Nov 2008 in Yugarapul Park, we found a large Tailed Emperor caterpillar it was on Chinese Elm (Celtis sinensis). We brought it home with a branch of the food plant. We recorded the development from caterpillar to butterfly as follows;  
PWC_7341.jpg (274605 bytes) PWC_7667.jpg (156917 bytes) PWC_7672.jpg (121461 bytes)
14 Nov 2008                                                       24 Nov 2008                                                        26 Nov 2008
PWC_7851.jpg (147376 bytes) PWC_7853.jpg (145485 bytes) PWC_7865.jpg (117189 bytes)
06 Dec 2008 8:00am                                           06 Dec 2008 9:00am                                            06 Dec 2008 10:00am 
The butterfly flied away at the afternoon.  

Reference and Link:
1. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p897.
2. Wildlife of Greater Brisbane - Published by Queensland Museum 1995, p108.
3. Wild Plants of Greater Brisbane -  Queensland Museum, 2003, p343, Chinese Elm (Celtis sinensis).  

Back to Top

Up ]


See us in Home page. Download large pictures in Wallpaper web page. Give us comments in Guest Book, or send email. A great way to support us is to buy the Brisbane Insects and Spiders DVD.  
Last updated: June 30, 2010.