Australian Painted Lady Butterflies in New Zealand

Contributed by Bob Talbot, of New Zealand

Around the 2nd of October 1998, New Zealand experienced westerly winds up to gale force with a jet stream in excess of 200 kph. While mowing the lawns I noticed a butterfly flying past. Thinking nothing of it (just another monarch), I took no notice.

Later in the day while I was sitting and eating, again it flew by and settled on a nearby plant. A closer inspection revealed an orange-coloured butterfly, so to the books and low and behold we have an Australian Painted lady (Cynthia kershawi) . Out with the camera!

I managed to take a roll of film which turned out ok. Since then I have seen quite a lot of these around; it looks as if quite a number arrived here. It is about 1200 km of open water between us and Australia and if they got up to the jet stream it may have taken 6 to 8 hours or if they were lower it may have taken several days .

Feel free to use this report or the attached photos.

Regards, Bob Talbot

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