Lepidoptera and the limits of Google

Seeking the scientific details needed to properly build my Tropical Butterfly Garden installation I have found big gaps and a lot of inconsistent information out on the internet.

Taking photographs of the signs at the Cairns Botanical Gardens has been immensely helpful in my research.
Taking photographs of the signs at the Cairns Botanic Gardens has been immensely helpful in my research.

Butterflies are in the scientific order Lepidoptera and to my untrained eye, seem so very distinctive from one another. Yet my in depth studies are showing there are many that simply look alike yet prefer to live near and consume completely different flora!

All those gorgeous tropical plants and flowers have several common names, similar looks to others; so much alike that sometimes the butterflies make deadly mistakes, too! I now know the difference between the Aristolochia elegant and the Aristolochia Indica.

There is a lot of amazing photography on the internet but the identification of the rainforest subjects does need a lot of work. Google can only show me what I request and many of the photos are mislabeled as one kind of plant when it isn’t  and much of my research needs to be exactly by genus and species. Understandably, not many photographers tag their work that way. So I have chosen to purchase the Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia by Michael Braby

Flora of Far North Queensland has been generously posted by ecologist, David Tng who spent a year in the Daintree creating a reference collection which includes excellent photographs from which to create my crochet designs. The plants are conveniently organized by scientific name. Thanks, David!

Papilio aegeus Orchard or Citrus Swallowtail Butterfly

This was never meant to be a scientific project, nor will it be but in the most general sense. However, I do feel a responsibility to ensure I do not put forth misinformation regarding the gorgeous butterflies and their lush rainforest home.

Cairns Botanic Garden

On this rainy, typhoon-y, Sunday, I will be an entomologist, studying the Yoma Sabina, the Papilio Aegeus, and consider possible crochet designs for the Adenia heterophylla and the Aristolochia Indica.

You are welcome to follow my progress via Instagram at Studio Deanna

Published by Studio Deanna

Metals + Fibers + Writing