A behind-the-scenes look at our butterfly collection

Photo Galleries | Updated 7 months ago

A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; underside of a Belenois java teutonia, family Pieridae; commonly known as Caper White
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; upper side of a Belenois java teutonia, family Pieridae; commonly known as Caper White
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Native Australian swallowtail butterfly specimens in their storage boxNative Australian swallowtail butterflies; species Papilio demoleus sthenelus, family Papilionidae
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian swallowtail butterfly specimenNative Australian swallowtail butterfly; species Papilio demoleus sthenelus, family Papilionidae; commonly known as Chequered Swallowtail
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; species Cressida cressida, family Papilionidae; commonly known as Big Greasy
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; species Papilio fuscus canopus, formerly P. canopus canopus, family Papilionidae
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian swallowtail butterfly specimenNative Australian swallowtail butterfly; species Papilio aegeus aegeus, family Papilionidae; commonly known as Orchard Swallowtail or Large Citrus Butterfly
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian swallowtail butterfly specimenNative Australian swallowtail butterfly; species Papilio aegeus aegeus, family Papilionidae; commonly known as Orchard Swallowtail or Large Citrus Butterfly
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian swallowtail butterfly specimenNative Australian swallowtail butterfly; species Papilio aegeus aegeus, family Papilionidae; commonly known as Orchard Swallowtail or Large Citrus Butterfly
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian swallowtail butterfly specimenNative Australian swallowtail butterfly; species Papilio anactus, family Papilionidae; commonly known as Dainty Swallowtail
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian swallowtail butterfly specimenNative Australian swallowtail butterfly; species Graphium sarpedon choredon, family Papilionidae; commonly known as Blue Triangle
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian swallowtail butterfly specimenNative Australian swallowtail butterfly; species Graphium sarpedon choredon, family Papilionidae; commonly known as Blue Triangle
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Native Australian butterfly specimens in their storage boxNative Australian butterflies; species Catopsilia pomona, family Pieridae; commonly known as Lemon Migrant
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; species Catopsilia pomona, family Pieridae; commonly known as Lemon Migrant
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; species Catopsilia scylla etesia, family Pieridae; commonly known as Orange Migrant
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Native Australian butterfly specimens in their storage boxNative Australian butterflies; species Delias aganippe, family Pieridae; commonly known as Red-spotted Jezebel or Wood White Butterfly
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; species Delias aganippe, family Pieridae; commonly known as Red-spotted Jezebel or Wood White Butterfly
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; species Delias aganippe, family Pieridae; commonly known as Red-spotted Jezebel or Wood White Butterfly
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Native Australian butterfly specimens in their storage boxNative Australian butterflies; species Delias aganippe, family Pieridae; commonly known as Red-spotted Jezebel or Wood White Butterfly
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; species Delias aganippe, family Pieridae; commonly known as Red-spotted Jezebel or Wood White Butterfly
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; species Delias aganippe, family Pieridae; commonly known as Red-spotted Jezebel or Wood White Butterfly
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Native Australian butterfly specimens in their storage boxNative Australian butterflies; species Acraea andromacha andromacha, family Nymphalidae; commonly known as Glasswing
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; species Acraea andromacha andromacha, family Nymphalidae; commonly known as Glasswing
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Nine introduced butterfly specimensIntroduced butterflies; species Danaus plexippus plexippus, family Nymphalidae; commonly known as Monarch or Wanderer
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
An introduced butterfly specimenIntroduced butterfly; species Danaus plexippus plexippus, family Nymphalidae; commonly known as Monarch or Wanderer
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; species Tirumala hamata hamata, family Nymphalidae; commonly known as Blue Tiger
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Several introduced butterfly specimens in their storage boxIntroduced and Native Australian butterflies; in the foreground, species Danaus affinis affinis, family Nymphalidae; commonly known as Black and White Tiger or Swamp Tiger
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; male specimen from the species Hypolimnas bolina nerina, family Nymphalidae; also known as Common Eggfly
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; male specimen from the species Hypolimnas bolina nerina, family Nymphalidae; also known as Common Eggfly
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Native Australian butterfly specimens in their storage boxNative Australian butterflies; female specimens from the species Hypolimnas bolina nerina, family Nymphalidae; also known as Common Eggfly
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; female specimen from the species Hypolimnas bolina nerina, family Nymphalidae; also known as Common Eggfly
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; species Junonia villida calybe, family Nymphalidae; commonly known as Meadow Argus
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Three native Australian butterfly specimens in their storage boxNative Australian butterflies; species Oreixenica kershawi kershawi, family Nymphalidae
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Several native Australian butterfly specimens in their storage boxNative Australian butterflies; in the foreground, species Oreixenica lathoniella, family Nymphalidae
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; species Oreixenica lathoniella, family Nymphalidae; also known as Common Silver Xenica
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; species Arhopala micale amytis, family Lycaenidae; also known as Common Oak-blue
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; species Arhopala centaurus asopus, family Lycaenidae; commonly known as Purple Oak-blue
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; upper side of a Hypochrysops apelles apelles, family Lycaenidae; commonly known as Copper Jewel
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; underside of a Hypochrysops apelles apelles, family Lycaenidae; commonly known as Copper Jewel
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; underside of a Hypochrysops halyaetus, family Lycaenidae; commonly known as Turquoise Jewel
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; species Jalmenus evagoras evagoras, family Lycaenidae; commonly known as Imperial Blue Butterfly
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; species Jamides aleuas coelestis, family Lycaenidae; commonly known as Bright Cerulean
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Six foreign swallowtail butterfly specimens in their storage boxForeign swallowtail butterflies; species Papilio ulysses autolycus, family Papilionidae
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign swallowtail butterfly specimenForeign swallowtail butterfly; species Papilio ulysses autolycus, family Papilionidae; commonly known as Ulysses Butterfly or Blue Mountain Swallowtail
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign butterfly specimenForeign butterfly; species Papilio paradoxa aenigma, family Papilionidae; commonly known as Great Blue Mime
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign swallowtail butterfly specimenForeign swallowtail butterfly; species Papilio nireus, family Papilionidae; commonly known as Green-banded Swallowtail
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign butterfly specimenForeign butterfly; underside of a Papilio peranthus, family Papilionidae
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Two foreign swallowtail butterfly specimens in their storage boxForeign giant swallowtail butterflies
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign swallowtail butterfly specimenForeign swallowtail butterfly; species Papilio zalmoxis, family Papilionidae; commonly known as Giant Blue Swallowtail
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign swallowtail butterfly specimenForeign butterfly; species Papilio antimachus, family Papilionidae; commonly known as Giant African Swallowtail
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign butterfly specimenForeign butterfly; species Papilio euchenor, family Papilionidae
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign swallowtail butterfly specimenForeign swallowtail butterfly; species Papilio aegeus, family Papilionidae; commonly known as Orchard Swallowtail or Large Citrus Butterfly
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign swallowtail butterfly specimenForeign swallowtail butterfly; species Papilio xuthus, family Papilionidae; commonly known as Asian Swallowtail
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign birdwing butterfly specimenForeign birdwing butterfly; male specimen from the species Ornithoptera priamus poseidon, family Papilionidae; also known as Common Green Birdwing
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign birdwing butterfly specimenForeign birdwing butterfly; female specimen from the species Ornithoptera priamus poseidon, family Papilionidae; also known as Common Green Birdwing
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign butterfly specimenForeign birdwing butterfly; male specimen from the species Ornithoptera paradisea paradisea, family Papilionidae; commonly known as Paradise Birdwing
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign birdwing butterfly specimenForeign birdwing butterfly; male specimen from the species Troides darsius, family Papilionidae; commonly known as Sri Lankan Birdwing
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Two foreign swallowtail butterfly specimens in their storage boxForeign swallowtail butterflies; species Atrophaneura coon coon, family Papilionidae; also known as Common Clubtail
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign swallowtail butterfly specimenForeign swallowtail butterfly; species Pachliopta hector, family Papilionidae; commonly known as Crimson Rose
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Example of a butterflies storage in the insect collectionButterflies storage in the insect collection
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Two foreign butterfly specimens in their storage boxForeign butterflies; species Ideopsis gaura daos, family Nymphalidae; commonly known as Smaller Wood Nymph
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign butterfly specimenForeign butterfly; species Ideopsis gaura daos, family Nymphalidae; commonly known as Smaller Wood Nymph
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign butterfly specimenForeign butterfly; species Ideopsis gaura anapis, family Nymphalidae; commonly known as Smaller Wood Nymph
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Six foreign butterfly specimensForeign butterflies; species Euploea phaenareta callithoe, family Nymphalidae; commonly known as Giant Crow
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign butterfly specimenForeign butterfly; species Euploea phaenareta callithoe, family Nymphalidae; commonly known as Giant Crow
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Five foreign butterfly specimens in their storage boxForeign butterflies; species Moduza procris milonia, family Nymphalidae; commonly known as The Commander
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign butterfly specimenForeign butterfly; species Moduza procris milonia, family Nymphalidae; commonly known as The Commander
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign butterfly specimenForeign butterfly; species Cyrestis telamon buruensis, family Nymphalidae
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Eight foreign butterfly specimens in their storage boxForeign butterflies; in the foreground, species Cyrestis acilia gades, family Nymphalidae
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign butterfly specimenForeign butterfly; Cyrestis acilia gades, family Nymphalidae
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign butterfly specimenForeign butterfly; Hebomoia glaucippe aturia, family Pieridae; commonly known as Great Orange Tip
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Three native Australian butterfly specimensNative Australian butterflies; species Arhopala micale amytis, family Lycaenidae; also known as Common Oak-blue
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A foreign butterfly specimen in its storage boxForeign butterfly; species Loxura atymnus, family Lycaenidae; commonly known as Yamfly
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A native Australian butterfly specimenNative Australian butterfly; species Arhopala micale amytis, family Lycaenidae; also known as Common Oak-blue
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum

Butterflies are a group of insects which belong to the order Lepidoptera and include about 17,950 species. Of the 400 butterfly species distributed in Australia, approximately half are endemic, found nowhere else in the world.

Butterflies’ wings are covered by minute scales giving them their beautiful colours. In some butterflies scales are pigmented with melanin that gives them black and brown colours, or with pteridines, which give other colours. However, some blues, greens, reds and iridescence are not due to pigmentation but due to light scattering caused by the microstructure of the scales.

Through this photo gallery, we invite you to explore our butterfly collection and note the diversity in shape and colours of this large group of insects. But be careful, there are fewer species than it seems! Indeed, in some species males and females are indistinguishable while in other species, such as Hypolimnas bolina nerina, the colours and ornamentation are so different that it would be easy to identify them as two separate species.

Further Information

The Australian Museum’s website provides additional information about the Wanderer Butterfly in a fact sheet that you can read here.
To learn more about native butterflies you also can purchase The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia edited by the Western Australian Museum.