Ulysses Butterfly

Ulysses Butterfly objectconsulting.com.au

The Ulysses butterfly, named after the Greek hero from the epic Odyssey, is a swallowtail butterfly found in and around Australia. It’s striking blue colors make it one of the most attractive of all butterflies.

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Papilionidae
  • Genus: Papilio
  • Common names: Ulysses butterfly, Blue emperor, Mountain blue, Blue Mountain Swallowtail
  • Scientific Name: Papilio Ulysses

Identification

Caterpillar

Ulysses Butterfly Caterpillar wikimedia.org

Initially, they are yellowish-green in color. There is a pair of spikes on each segment on the back. There is a black mark around the middle section. Older caterpillars are white and green, keeping them well-camouflaged in the leaves of their host plants.

Pupa

Ulysses Butterfly Pupa butterflyencounters.com.au

The chrysalis is about 1.57 in (4 cm) in length; green in color.  It stays suspended from the food plant.

Adult Butterfly

Sexual Dimorphism: Females have little blue crescents on the back of their upper wings, while that of the males is entirely black. There are long and extended tails at the bottom of the wing.

When unfolded, the wings are a bright electric blue with black borders. There are some characteristic thin black lines running along the forewings.

Ulysses Butterfly Pictures lookseek.com

The Ulysses Butterfly tripadvisor.com

In a folded position, the colors are a far more inconspicuous black and brown.

Average Wingspan: 5.5 inches (14 cm).

Flight Pattern: Fast and erratic.

Eggs

Ulysses Butterfly Eggs wikispaces.com

Spherical and white, laid individually on the leaves of their food plant. The eggs become darker as they become ready to hatch.

Female Ulysses butterflies prefer to lay eggs on short plants, no taller than two meters, so the eggs are more likely to be spotted on shorter host plants.

Quick Facts

Distribution Eastern Queensland, New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, the Moluccas, and the north-western Solomon Islands
Habitat Suburban gardens and tropical rainforests
Lifespan of adults As little as a week to a few months, with maximum lifespan being around 8 months
Host plants Plants of the Euodia genus and kerosene wood
Adult diet Blossoms of pink flowered doughwood

Did You Know?

  • Male Ulysses butterflies are known to be attracted to the blue crescents on the female’s wings, and as a result, may fly towards anything blue that it may spot.
  • The Australian state of Queensland uses this butterfly as an emblem to promote tourism.
  • The bright colors act as a warning to predators.

Blue Mountain Swallowtail bp.blogspot.com

Ulysses Butterfly Habitat telegraphindia.com

Ulysses Butterflies scienceimage.csiro.au

Ulysses Swallowtail Butterfly bp.blogspot.com

Ulysses Butterfly Images daydreamoddities.com

Blue Ulysses Butterfly wild.com.au

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Scientific Classification

  • Family: Papilionidae
  • Genus: Papilio
  • Common names: Ulysses butterfly, Blue emperor, Mountain blue, Blue Mountain Swallowtail
  • Scientific Name: Papilio Ulysses