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.
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
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.
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