Friday Fun Fact – Territorial Butterflies

Did you know? Some species of butterflies can be quite territorial. For example, Common Eggfly butterflies are some of the most territorial butterflies around.

They will choose one spot that they consider to be theirs, and chase away any intruders including Cairns Birdwings which are more than twice their size.

Walking through the Butterfly Sanctuary, you often see the male Common Eggflies having air battles in a frenzy of twirling and whirling.

In Nature, it’s who’s bravest that wins, for the longer they are out battling, the greater the chance of them being swooped up by a bird.

Interestingly, they are not only defensive of their territories but also remarkable at finding their territories if they taken away. One of our keepers read a story once about a scientist who was out in the rainforest who noticed a Common Eggfly around his campsite. As an experiment, he caught the Eggfly, took note of any identifying features and then walked two kilometres away with it and then let it go. By the time he reached his campsite again the butterfly was already there.