Identification Sheets

Use the key below to identify Adelaide butterflies likely to visit your garden or native reserve.

The key is based on colour and size and two views of each butterfly is shown. The upper side and the under side. When butterflies are at rest you usually only see the underside and this is especially so for the blue butterflies some of which never open their wings when at rest.

What colour is your butterfly?

Scientists organise butterflies and other animals into family groups according to their relationship between each other and their morphological similarities. For instance all of the skipper butterflies have ‘hooked’ antennae.

This series of butterfly identification sheets seeks to simplify identification of South Australian butterflies by using colour and size.

We have chosen four colour groups based on the upper side wing colours – mostly yellow or white, mostly orange or brown, mostly white or cream with black or brown and mostly blue.

We have also chosen three sizes based on open wing expanse:
Small, below 2.5cm
Medium, 2.5cm – 6cm
Large, more then 6cm

BLUE

Mostly blue, small size

Mostly blue, medium size

BROWN or ORANGE

Mostly brown or orange, small size

Mostly brown or orange, medium size

Mostly brown or orange, large size

YELLOW or WHITE

Mostly yellow and white, medium size

White, cream or yellow with black or brown, medium size

White, cream or yellow with black or brown, large size

 

In addition, there are A3 identification charts available on line in the Adelaide and Mt. Lofty NRM Education site which also use colour and size to identify local butterflies. There are some additional butterflies that occur in the South East of South Australia, on this site you will find other information on butterflies and teacher resources.

Click here to see the list of downloads

 

Thanks go the following people who have assisted with the preparation of these sheets: Roger Grund, Trevor Rowe, Lindsay Hunt, Leslie Richmond, Carolyn Prime, Rowan Moore, Andy Young and Jan Forrest