Common_brown.JPG (11919 bytes)Common Brown Butterfly (Heteronympha merope merope) is found in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia. Males appear in October and at this time few females are observed. As the summer advances male numbers diminish and females increase. Females may be flying as late as May. The larvae feed on native grasses including Themeda australis, Kangaroo Grass. There are two other sub species. One is found in Tasmania and the other in southwest Western Australia. In summer this is one of a number of butterflies common at Yallaroo. The adults visit various flowering plants. They are partial to the flowers of Everlasting Daisies. The specimen illustrated is a female. The male has slightly different wing markings. Note the eye patches on the wings. This is a feature of this group of butterflies and may be a means of frightening predators. The species was named in 1775. The Common Brown was probably first collected on Captain Cook’s voyage of discovery in 1770. Please note: No butterflies were killed for the scanned images. They are all dead insects found in the garden.