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Herald Sun

Read about the Gold Coast Butterflies in the "Herald Sun"

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A Caper White butterfly feeding off nectar from a flowering at Brisbane. Pictures: Jack Tran.



Gold Coast enthusiast says butterflies blown in from Great Dividing Range

THE swarms of butterflies fluttering on the Gold Coast at the weekend were blown here from the Great Dividing Range, say local butterfly enthusiasts.

They said the countless Caper White butterflies flew about the Glitter Strip on Saturday blown over the ranges by the same north-westerly winds which caused them to hatch.

The influx prompted a flurry of online posts, including Surfers Paradise Ultra Lounge bar owner Scott Ackland who posted to Facebook: “Has anyone else noticed how butterflies are everywhere today? #ButterflyApocalypse.”

Gold Coast jet skier Craig Falciola said while doing 70km per hour near Pimpama on Saturday a butterfly smacked into his eyelid.

“It was excruciating. But I think I came off better than the butterfly. There were butterflies everywhere.”

Caper white butterflies booming. Pic Jono Searle.

Gold Coast Butterflies organiser Josephine Romeo said the first blast of summer, with temperatures reaching 34C inland and 31C on the coast, woke the insects up.

“They usually migrate west of the Great Dividing Range heading north where the caper bush they feed on is more plentiful,” the butterfly educator and conservationist said.

“The heat made them hatch (from their chrysalis).

“But they were blown to the coast on north westerly winds,” she said.

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A Caper White butterfly feeding off nectar from a flowering tree. Pictures: Jack Tran

While there was a similar swarm of the same species about two years ago, Ms Romeo said it was the biggest group she had seen.

“It’s happened before in the past few years but not in such numbers,” she said.

“I had reports of swarms from as far as Harvey Bay.”

She said the swarm showed the butterflies had experienced excellent breeding conditions this season.

Originally published as Swarms from over the ranges