Butterflies of Hervey’s Range

Winter may here, as I said in my last post, but the butterflies haven’t yet felt its full force. There are still plenty of flowers for the adults and greenery for the caterpillars, even on Hervey’s Range in Townsville’s cooler, drier hinterland.

These photos were taken on three successive visits between mid-April and mid-May and for this post I have simply sorted them by size: the female Varied Eggfly has a wingspan of about 85 mm, while the blues are in the 20 – 30 mm range.

Clicking on the images to see them in a lightbox will reveal extended captions including their Latin names.

Varied Eggfly
Female Varied Eggfly on snakeweed
Junonia orithya
Blue Argus aka Blue Pansy
Tawny Coster
Tawny Coster
Orange Bush-brown
Orange Bush-brown
Grass-yellows puddling
Dusky Knight
Dusky Knight

All of the above are in the family Nymphalidae (Nymphs or Browns) except for the Grass-yellows which are in Pieridae (Whites and Yellows).  Those below are Blues (Lycaenidae), our largest family although our smallest butterflies, and I haven’t attempted to identify them.

Mating pair
Tailed blue
More information
  • The Very Varied Eggfly is an album of my photos on flickr and shows most of the colour forms of the female, as well as males of the species.
  • The Tawny Coster only arrived in our region a year ago and I wrote about its arrival here.
  • ‘Puddling’ is the proper term for butterflies’ habit of landing on mud (as here) or wet sand (as here), or beside shallow puddles (as here) to suck up water.

Porcupine Gorge wildlife

As I said a few days ago, the wildlife at Porcupine Gorge  was abundant when I visited it last week. Here’s a sample of photos under the three broad headings of mammals, birds and invertebrates (i.e. insects and spiders). I did see some reptiles as well – a goanna and a frill-necked lizard (I think) on the road, and several small skinks around the gorge – but have no photos to share here.


A large wallaby or small kangaroo species was quite common in the early mornings but I’m not sure which species: possibly red kangaroo or agile wallaby, but I’m inclined to think they were Antilopine Kangaroos, Macropus antilopinus. If so, they were at the Southern end of their known range.

Porcupine Gorge
An adult on the move

Continue reading “Porcupine Gorge wildlife”

Alligator Creek photo album

A collection of photos from our visit to Alligator Creek on Easter Saturday, as promised a few days ago in my post about the goanna.

Looking downstream from the lookout to the main swimming area

We parked at the picnic ground, followed the Alligator Creek Falls walking track as far as Cockatoo Creek, two kilometres upstream, and returned for a late lunch before a heavy shower of rain made us decide to return home rather than walk down for a swim.

The creek and park are at their best now. Continue reading “Alligator Creek photo album”

Dragonflies beside Rollingstone Creek

Rollingstone Creek
Rollingstone Creek, still in dry-season mode

Three months ago I visited Rollingstone Creek with a Wildlife Queensland group, and I liked the place so  much that I went back there a few days ago. The creek and its park weren’t much changed (Rollingstone, 50 km to our North, has had more rain than Townsville so it hasn’t continued to dry out as we have) but the star attractions this time were the insects, not the birds. Of the insects, one dragonfly was outstanding.

Rhyothemis resplendens
Jewel Flutterer

This gorgeously coloured dragonfly was new to me Continue reading “Dragonflies beside Rollingstone Creek”

Mangrove Ants adapt to nesting underwater

mangrove ants
One nest entrance is circled, and another was just behind me as I took this shot

When I was wandering along the bank of Ross River near the Bowen Road bridge a few months ago, I looked down, saw a perfectly ordinary looking ants’ nest and a moment later thought, “Hey! That’s odd! That would be under water at high tide!”

The ants were perfectly at home, however, running in and out of their nest entrance. Odd indeed. Continue reading “Mangrove Ants adapt to nesting underwater”