I photographed my first Glasswing Acraea andromacha this week.

The wings of most butterflies are covered with coloured scales. The Glasswing butterfly has no scales on its forewing giving it a translucent glassy appearance. These wings are also very trough which may help given the unusual mating behaviour. Males capture newly emerged females as soon as they fly, carry them to the ground where they mate forcibly. (The Butterflies of Australia – Orr & Kitching) Reading this forces me to look at butterflies very differently. My somewhat romantic view of butterflies as beautiful gentle creatures has come crashing to the ground as well.

The Glasswings are listed as common along the east coast, Victoria, Northern Territory and northern parts of Western Australia.

Food plants for Glasswing caterpillars on Mt Gravatt are the  native Spade Flower Hybanthus stellarioides, a delicate herb with a yellow “spade” shaped flower, and the invasive weed – Corky Passion Vine Passiflora suberosa.

Forty-five butterfly species have been identified on Mt Gravatt and with the development of Pollinator Links through the suburbs we aim to bring more of these beautiful and, it seems, agressive creatures back to backyards.

What happens when you lead a group of dedicated butterfly experts on a walk in the bush?

Don’t expect to move very fast!

My family joke about me stopping to take photos at every rock and tree. Last Saturday I found a group of people who are harder to move than myself.

Kate Flink – BCC Habitat Brisbane, captured this clustering behaviour perfectly with her photo.

BOIC (Butterflies & Other Invertebrates Club) honoured Fox Gully with a visit and shared their expertise on a tour of our bushcare site.

Our local butterflies and their caterpillars put on a good show with Common Crows, Orchard Swallowtails, Evening Browns and various Ringlets flitting from bush to bush. I now know I can find different butterfly caterpillars simply by looking at the pattern of chewing on leaves. Aparently each species chews different shapes into the leaves.

A really good morning in the bush particularly when two butterfly species were added to Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Reserve: Australian Rustic, Leafwing Doleschallia bisaltide and Pale Triangle Graphium eurypylus. Forty-five butterfly species have now been identified in the Reserve.

The Leafwing caterpillar is pictured munching on Love Flower Pseuderanthemum variable. This caterpillar must be serously scary for any potential preditors: looks like it is covered in shiny black barbed-wire.

The BOIC Butterfly Host Plants is an excellent reference for information on what plants will attract butterflies to your garden.