©wildphotos4u / Sandy C
The Ulysses butterfly, Papilio ulysses, also known as the Blue Mountain Butterfly, or the Blue Mountain Swallowtail is a large swallowtail butterfly, endemic to Australasia.
This butterfly is used as an emblem for Queensland tourism.
The Ulysses butterfly typically has a wingspan of about 14 cm (5.5 inches), but depending on subspecies there are some variations in size. The upperside of the wings are an iridescent electric blue; the underside is a more subdued black and brown in colouration. The colours are produced by the microscopic structure of the scales.
The female of the species is different from the male in that she has little crescents of blue in the back, upside sections of her hind wings, where there is only black for males. When the butterfly is perched the intense blue of its wings is hidden by the plainer brown under side of its wings, helping it to blend in with its surroundings. When in flight the butterfly can be seen hundreds of metres away as sudden bright blue flashes. Males are strongly attracted to blue objects which they mistake for females.
Cluster of Blue Morpho Butterflies
Madagascan Sunset Moth - Sunset Moth Wing Scales