Oleander butterfly

In autumn, caterpillars of the Oleander Butterfly visit my potted Weeping Fig. The Oleander Butterfly has a wing span of 7.5 cm and is very dark brown or black, with white blotches on both wings and body. The caterpillars arrive in an amusing little caravan formation, travelling head to tail, then spent about a week munching on the fig foliage before each forms a chrysalis. I don’t know where they breed because we don’t have any Oleanders, but they seem to enjoy leaves from plants that have milky sap. I leave these creatures in peace because they do little damage to the tree, and the chrysalises are so pretty.

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2 thoughts on “Oleander butterfly

  1. The caterpillars are causing significant damage to the desert roses (Adenium spp) in Darwin region. The pest is being noticed inly recently in significant numbers and warrants some measures to manage. At present, monitoring and physical removal seems to be adequate in a backyard situation

    Adeniums are not roses, but are related to the Oleander and Frangipani family, which also produce milky sap. If the caterpillars get out of hand, you can spray them with Nature’s Way Dipel (Bacillus thuringiensis). It is a bacterial stomach poison that only affects caterpillars. You need to follow directions and spray both sides of leaves. It is available from Bunnings and Green Harvest.

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