Tailed emperor butterfly

Last week I found a butterfly, wet and still and horizontal and apparently dead, on the back steps. I took it inside, thinking to add it to my meagre collection when it had dried out. A couple of days later, I noticed it was moving feebly, so I took it outside in the sun.

Tailed emperor

After a while, it opened up, sat there for a couple of minutes …

Tailed emperor warming up in the sun

… and flew away at great speed! It’s a tailed emperor (Polyura sempronius). This butterfly is common along the east and north coasts of Australia. You can see photos of the larvae and eggs here.

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7 Responses to Tailed emperor butterfly

  1. Rebecca says:

    Stunning! I’ve gotten more and more interested in “butterfly watching” over the last couple years.

  2. peonyden says:

    You ought rename the Butterfly the Lazarus Butterfly.

  3. kathy says:

    Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. Just goes to show we could be more careful and not think them past it. We have a rescue program in our family. It involves calling out, “ant rescue”, or whatever insect it happens to be. Then the other person goes to find a suitable rescue container to remove said insect. It is easier with 2 person rescue team: whilst the spotter keeps an eye on the object of rescue, the other can run around, open windows/doors and generally respond to requests for that specific rescue. So different to my childhood when everything was killed because it was somehow a threat.
    Can I just add that we have a resident phascogale at Nulla. It is the brush tailed variety, of course, being in the Kempsey area. It has probably been around for years but we never saw it before. It is living in the wool insulation under our verandah roof. This time of year is mating season, and like the male antechinuses, the male phascogales have a rather tragic stress response to the mating season, and die. The females get left to drag their little babies around, like so many shopping bags, only attached to their teats – ouch!

    • Joy Window says:

      Thanks, Kathy. Great idea! We also point out animals that need avoiding or dealing with gently – e.g. “there’s a big hairy spider on the shower curtain; I’m getting a Chinese food container to take it outside” or “there’s a green snake in the bathroom cupboard; I’ll open the window so it can get out so let’s not go in there for a while”.
      I’d love a photo of your phascogale if you ever get one – I’ve never seen one in the wild, only antechinuses.

  4. Pingback: National, umm, moth week | A-roving I will go

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