Blue Mountain Swallowtail Butterfly Cody Thomas Papilio Ulysses Papilio Ulysses is the Binomial name of the more commonly known Blue Mountain Swallowtail, or Blue Mountain Butterfly. It is a large swallowtail butterfly that is famous for it’s iridescent blue colours, it is considerably favored by butterfly collectors and tourists alike. It is distributed throughout Australasia and is an emblem for tourism in Australia’s northern state, Queensland. Science Behind Their Difference Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta Order: Lepidoptera Family: Papilionidae Genus: Papilio Species: P. Ulysses Discovered and observed by Carl Linnaeus in 1758. Life Cycle Like all Butterflies they are born as caterpillars, and evolve into a Butterfly. The Papilio Ulysses is a small green caterpillar with small blue markings spread over the body and two small white horns on the tail, It feeds off the plants while it is able to camouflage because of its green exterior hiding away from predators. It is born only within tropical rainforests not having any need to go else where, this becomes a problem when the size of its habitat begins to diminish. Caterpillar and Pupa State It will feed of the foliage of jungle trees such as the Fuzzy Lemon Aspen, the Silver Ash , Kerosine Wood or any other type of Rutaceae (A family of plants). The caterpillar needs to continue to feed until it enters a Pupa state (or cocoon) which is held up by a food plant, this state only lasts a few days and the Pupa is only very small and fragile measuring around 4cm average. Birth of something Beautiful The Papilio Ulysses finally emerges the Pupa with beautiful electric blue coloured wings that are bordered in black, the hindwings have a long tail with lobes on the end. The underlying layer of their wings are a dullish grey- brown that is necessary for it’s own protection from predators. The wings spread across 10cm females usually being larger, they feed on tropical plants such as Citrus plants, Euodia and Pink flowered Doughwood. Butterflies in general are ectothermic creatures that are practically weightless and that flitter around their respective habitats, they rely on external sources for warmth and they have adaptations that allow them to assist in warming or cooling their tiny bodies. Butterflies are able to darken their wings, veins and wing scales to allow heat absorption to warm their bodies and do the opposite to cool them down. Their wings are also hydrophobic repelling water which keeps the butterfly clean because the repelled water collects dirt and dust particles that are collected on the wings. How it lives its short life The Mountain Blue is a butterfly that is always flattering around for its entire life which spans from a couple of days to a maximum of 8 months. For it to survive can be thought to be hard considering every time it flies a bright electric blue flash is constantly going on and off, some so bright it can be seen from about 100 metres away. Predators see this as a easy food but the Mountain Blue evades this by flying above the forest canopy and only stopping to eat for a few seconds at a time, and when it does stop it hides it’s blue wings and appears brown to camouflage and hide from predators. Giving birth to beauty The Ulysses Butterfly (Mountain Blue) lays its eggs on the leaves of the Euodia Tree because the caterpillars feed easily on its foliage and are able to camouflage as soon as birth so they aren’t under threat when birth like sea turtles are. The Euodia Tree is a tree that is very important for butterflies, they have pink flowers sprouting out of its branches and provides a breeding ground and food for the butterflies. Male butterflies are attracted to bright blue colours through the assumption that they are females of the same species, proving that the coloured wings are a huge influence on courtship. The social network The Papilio Ulysses are creatures that attract each other by their colourful wings, this is assumed to pose competition among males and females. Copulating Adults. The larger one above is the female. Bibliography • • • • • • P. Vukusic, J. R. Sambles, C. R. Lawrence, R. J. Wootton (2001) Sculpted-multilayer optical effects in two species of Papilio butterfly. Papilio ulysses. 2012. Papilio ulysses. [ONLINE] Available at: http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/papi/ulysses.html.[Accessed 05 September 2012]. Ulysses Butterfly Habitat | eHow.com. 2012. Ulysses Butterfly Habitat | eHow.com. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ehow.com/facts_6012045_ulysses-butterfly-habitat.html. [Accessed 05 September 2012]. Ulysses Swallowtail (Papilio ulysses) . 2012. Ulysses Swallowtail (Papilio ulysses) . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ozanimals.com/Insect/Ulysses-Swallowtail/Papilio/ulysses.html. [Accessed 05 September 2012]. ButterflyCorner.net: Papilio ulysses (Mountain Blue). 2012. ButterflyCorner.net: Papilio ulysses (Mountain Blue). [ONLINE] Available at: http://en.butterflycorner.net/Papilio-ulysses-MountainBlue.schwalbenschwanz100.0.html. [Accessed 05 September 2012]. Butterfly Wings, Eyes, Antennae, Legs, and Proboscis Pictures : Gardens With Wings . 2012. Butterfly Wings, Eyes, Antennae, Legs, and Proboscis Pictures : Gardens With Wings . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.gardenswithwings.com/facts-info.html/a0812ButterflyBody. [Accessed 05 September 2012].