Other Common Names
Mountain Blue Swallowtail, Blue Swallowtail
OK, it's a bit of a cheat because almost all of these photos were taken in the Kuranda Butterfly Sanctuary. I did see several of these butterflies whilst I was at Cairns, both in the town and in the rainforest nearby. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get any photos in the wild; the nearest I got was when I saw one feeding from Lantana flowers in a small clearing in the forest, but it didn't stay still long enough for me to get any photos.
Most of the sightings of this butterfly were of individuals flying down from the canopy to take a quick turn around a sunny spot. They are a stunning sight, a flash of electric blue which is a darker colour than I expected from seeing photos and mounted specimens of the butterfly. Just about every time I saw a Ulysses fly around a clearing it was chased off by other butterflies; I began to wonder if the other species are jealous of the Ulysses and so chase it of whenever it appears.
I finally did manage to get a photo or two of a wild specimen when I returned to Cairns in April 2006, although I actually saw far fewer of these butterflies on that trip. I don't know whether this was simply bcause they're less common at that time, or whether it was because of the overcast weather that plagued the trip.
Cairns - October 2005, April 2006.
Kuranda Butterfly Sanctuary - October 2005