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Danaus petilia

Lesser wanderer
Photo by Norm Twigge

This medium-sized butterfly is believed to be one of the first butterflies depicted in art: an Egyptian fresco in the Tomb of Nebamun, Luxor, painted over 3,500 years ago, features the butterfly. The species was previously considered a subspecies of Danaus chrysippus and every summer some arrive in New Zealand having flown/blown here.

Rare migrant
Five instars, grows to about 38 mm long, black and white with ten broad black dorsal bands, each containing a pair of large elongated yellow spots. Bands are separated by three finer bands of black. Also three pairs of tentacular filaments
Usually bright green but occasionally pink (rare). About ten days, depending on temperature/season.
Orange wings, upperside brighter, with black bands and white spots.
70-80 mm
Photo by J Carter

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