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Identify Your Butterfly
Use the key below to identify Adelaide butterflies likely to visit your garden or native reserve.
The key is based on colour and size and two views of each butterfly is shown. The upper side and the under side. When butterflies are at rest you usually only see the under side and this is especially so for the blue butterflies some of which never open their wings when at rest.
What colour is your butterfly?
Scientists organise butterflies and other animals into family groups according to their relationship between each other and their morphological similarities. For instance all of the skipper butterflies have ‘hooked’ antennae.
This series of butterfly identification sheets seeks to simplify identification of South Australian butterflies by using colour and size.
We have chosen four colour groups based on the upperside wing colours – mostly yellow or white, mostly orange or brown, mostly white or cream with black or brown and mostly blue.
We have also chosen three sizes based on open wing expanse:
- Small, below 3cm
- Medium, 3cm – 6cm
- Large, more than 6cm
Mostly Yellow or White
Yellow or White Medium (2.5cm – 6cm)
Mostly White or Cream with Black or Brown
White or Cream with Black or Brown Medium (2.5cm – 6cm)
White or Cream with Black or Brown Large (over 6cm)
Mostly Brown or Orange
Brown or Orange Small (under 2.5cm)
Brown or Orange Medium (2.5cm – 6cm)
Brown or Orange Large (over 6cm)
Blue Small (under 2.5cm)
Blue Medium (2.5cm – 6cm)
If you would like to find out more about South Australian Butterflies, visit Butterfly Conservation SA, a website authored by Roger Grund.
Thanks go to the following people who have assisted with the preparation of these sheets: Roger Grund, Trevor Rowe, Lindsay Hunt, Leslie Richmond, Carolyn Prime, Rowan Moore, Andy Young and Jan Forrest.