Other Common Names
Black and White Aeroplane
I only saw one of these butterflies. It was defending a territory in a sunny spot alongside a creek in the rainforest near Cairns. At first I thought it might be Tellervo zoilus, a species I had seen a few times in the rainforest, as the markings are similar and both species have yellow eyes. However this butterfly was significantly larger, it had the gliding flight shown by the other aeroplanes, and it was much more aggressive. Whenever any other butterfly flew into its sun spot, it would chase it off and return to its favourite perch. It was quite amusing to see this butterfly chase off a Papilio ulysses several times its size :-).
Unfortunately, the butterfly's perch was quite high up, so my photos were taken using the maximum zoom my camera is capable of, which is why the pictures are grainy and not very good.
Cairns - October 2005, August 2007, December 2008, April 2011