Butterflies are probably the best-known group of insects because of their bright colours and the fact that most of them fly during the day. While the majority are tropical there are still reasonable numbers in the cooler climates of southern Australia.
Australia does not have many species compared to other countries that fall within the tropical region – only about 400 species. As a comparison, New Guinea has 1,600 and South America about 7,500.
This book should be read in conjunction with All About Butterflies ofAustralia (Reed New Holland, 2016) to get an overall view of just what butterflies are about. To save space most of the information in that book has not been repeated here. This publication has concentrated on illustrating as far as possible the adult butterflies, their early stages and the related host plants that the larvae feed on.
What makes this book different from other field guides is that all the illustrations of the butterflies are actual photos of live specimens. In most cases, this is how you will see them in the wild. It is just not possible to have every species as it would take a lifetime to gather live images of all the butterfly species as quite a few are very rare and extremely difficult to find.