The Birdwing is our largest Australian Butterfly and the spectacular colours of the males are bound to catch the attention of people seeing them sail past. This butterfly is not wide spread compared to other butterflies but it is possibly our most famous and striking species. The colours on the wings of the males are very different from those of the females. Females are also generally larger than the males. They are usually found in the rainforest in north-eastern Australia. Related species and subspecies occur as far south as northern NSW. Adult butterflies feed on flowers while caterpillars feed on climbing plants in the genus Aristolochia.
For protection, the caterpillars have rows of large spines along their bodies. The eggs from which they develop are large and laid singly not in clusters. The large caterpillars can eat all the leaves on their food plants. If too many caterpillars were on a single plant none might survive. There is quite a degree of variation in the colours and markings in the adult females. However, their size alone should make them easy to recognise if one crosses your path!
Born on 7 March 1967, Garry Fleming commenced work as an illustrator, designing souvenirs and post cards. After five years of this employment Garry decided to strike out on his own and commenced writing and illustrating children’s books. A completely a self-taught artist and his books have been very successful with several publishers printing and distributing his books. For three consecutive years, he entered a painting in the Sydney Royal Easter Show art prize and won each time.