Home > Articles > Ulysses Butterflies

Ulysses Butterflies (Papilio Ulysses)

Ulysses Butterfly (Papilio Ulysses) are one of the iconic species of the Daintree Region, however, did you know these interesting facts about our colourful friends.

Ulysses ButterflyThis Ulysses was having a feed from the Ixora in our garden

  • Can have a wingspan up to 14cm (depending on subspecies)

  • Love the nectar of Lantana ( Lantana camara, VERBENACEAE ).

  • One of its favourite foods is the Corkwood (Melicope Elleryana), a native tree with profusion of pink flowers and soft "corky" bark.

  • It can often be found feeding on the Ixora in our gardens (PIC)

  • The colouring is actually produced by microscopic scales on its wings and a phenomenon called "Structural Colouring". By reflecting and refracting light at various angles, certain colours are removed from the reflected light, resulting in the stricking iridescent blue on the backs of the wings.

  • The underside of the wings are a dull brown, allowing the Ulysses to blend into surroundings when perched.

  • The eyes contain thousands of lenses and can spot a blue object up to 30m away. The males will often mistake other blue objects for females.

  • The Ulysses butterfly has green blood and can taste through its feet, its antennae are used for smelling.

  • Although the Ulysses is the emblem of Tourism Queensland, it can be found in tropical areas on every continent except Antarctica. We are just lucky enough in the Daintree to have an abundance of these spectacular butterflies.

  • At Floravilla, we have had days where there are so many of these butterflies, that we can't count them.