Facts about Ulysses Butterfly, "Scientific name Ulyssee Papilio ulysses". Ulysses Butterfly is a large swallowtail butterfly endemic to Australia. Ulysses Butterflys other names are the Blue Mountain Swallowtail and the Blue Mountain Butterfly. The Ulysses Butterfly was first described in 1758 by Linnaeus. It is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE. Its basic color is black. The Ulysses Butterfly is an emblem for tourism in Queensland.
The Ulysses Butterfly inhabit every continent except for Antarctica. The Ulysses Butterfly are found on tropical areas such as northeastern Australia, the Moluccas, New Guinea, northwestern Solomon Islands and Bismark Archipelego. The Ulysses Butterfly live below the canopy in rainforests.
The Ulysses butterflies typically have a wingspan of about 5 1/2 inches (14 cm). The Ulysses Butterfly have electric blue upper side wings and black and brown underside wings. The colors are produced by microscopic structure of the scales (structural coloration). The Ulysses caterpillars blend in the plants they feed on with their green and white coloration.
The fore wings are black and Ulysses Butterfly wing is dominated by a large blue area. The underside is dark brown and there is a big light-brown triangle in the middle of the wing.
The hind wings of the Ulysses Butterfly are black and have a wavy edge and long tails. The wing is dominated by a large blue area. The underside is dark brown and there is a chain of big, brown spots at the outer edge.
The abdomen is dark brown and the Ulysses Butterfly head and thorax are black and have blue scales and the underside is brown.
The female species are different from the males. The female Ulysses Butterfly have little blue crescents in the back, upside sections of their hind wings, whereas the males have only black coloration. When the Ulysses Butterfly perch the intense blue of their wings is hidden by the plainer brown under side of their wings, helping them to blend in with their surroundings. When in flight, the Ulysses Butterfly can be seen hundreds of meters away as sudden bright blue flashes. Male Ulysses Butterfly is strongly attracted to blue colors, and sometimes mistake blue objects for females.
Conservation and Diet
The Ulysses butterflies inhabit suburban gardens and tropical rainforest areas. In Australia, breeders are required to obtain permits although the Ulysses Butterfly is not endangered. The introduction of Pink Flowered Doughwood has greatly increased their numbers in Australia.
One factor that may threaten their survival is reduction in the number of the Euodia trees. Euodia trees are heavily used by the Ulysses Butterfly for laying eggs. The leaves of the tree are also food for the caterpillar. Female Ulysses Butterfly prefers small trees up to 2 meters tall to lay their eggs.
Food sources for Ulysses Butterfly butterfly include: citrus plants and kerosene wood. In Australia, Ulysses butterfly rely on the Pink Flowered Doughwood trees for food. They particularly rely on the clusters of small pink flowers that extrude from the tree’s branches.
Interesting Features of the Ulysses Butterfly:
The Ulysses butterflies have a pair of antennae used for their sense of smell. They have compound eyes with thousands of lenses in each eye. The Ulysses Butterfly have little holes on both sides for lungs. The Ulysses Butterfly use their feet for tasting. The Ulysses Butterfly are blue and black but turn brownish to like a brown leaf when resting. Ulysses Butterfly are insects. A Ulysses Butterfly is a herbivore; Meaning that as a caterpillar its first food is its own eggshell and than it will eat the leaves of the plant on which it is hatched. When it becomes a butterfly, it will feed mostly on nectar from flowers, rotting fruit and water with a "proboscis" - a long narrow tube in their mouth that looks like a straw.
Life cycle of a Ulysses Butterfly comes in four stages, egg, larva "caterpillars", pupa "chrysalis" and adult Butterfly.
A Ulysses Butterfly will attach its eggs to leaves with a special glue.
When caterpillars become fully grown they will attach to an appropriate leaf or small branch, than they will shed the outside layer of their skin and a hard skin underneath known as a "chrysalis" will be their new look
An adult Ulysses Butterfly will come out from the "chrysalis" than it waits a few hours for its wings to dry and fill with blood, before it takes its first flight.
Ulysses Butterfly can see yellow, green, and red. An adult Ulysses Butterfly average life span is from a week to a year
The top flight speed of a Ulysses Butterfly is 12 miles per hour and some moths can fly up to 25 miles per hour.
A Ulysses Butterfly is cold-blooded, which means the body temperature is not regulated on its own. A Ulysses Butterfly can't fly or eat if their body temperature is below 82 degrees fah (28 cel). Ulysses Butterfly's are often basking in the sun with their wings open to gain heat and than the veins in the wings carry the heat to the body.
A Ulysses Butterfly has sense organ, on their feet or tarsi, for tasting
The estimate is between 15000 and 20000 different species of butterfly.
A butterfly has a small body, made up of three parts – the head, abdomen and thorax. A Butterfly has two large eyes, which are made up of many small parts which are called "compound eyes".
A Ulysses Butterfly has two antenna's on the top of their heads, which they use to smell, hear and feel. A butterfly’s mouth is a long tube a "proboscis" - a long narrow tube in their mouth that looks like a straw when its done eating, it rolls the tube back up.
A Ulysses Butterfly has three pairs of legs and their feet have little claws that help them stand on flowers. The Ulysses Butterfly's wings are made up of hard tubes that are covered with a thin tissue. The Ulysses Butterfly's wings are covered with fine dusty like scales. A Ulysses Butterfly has four brightly colored wings having distinctive patterns made up of tiny scales. The bright patterns scales sometimes have hidden ultraviolet patterns for attracting mates. The bright colors are also used as camouflage to hide them or scare off predictors.