Keep an eye out for the beautiful Blue Tiger butterflies – Tirumala hamata visiting the mountain at the moment. Note the tiger like spots on the head.

When I could not identify any caterpillar (larval) food plants in the Reserve for these butterflies I contacted Dr Carla Catterall who kindly shared her extensive knowledge. It turns our Tigers are tourists just visiting Brisbane on holidays.

Dr Catterall advises that the Tiger Blue is a migratory species – so to understand why we are seeing them we need to search for info about its migratory habits rather than its food plants.

Because of these large-scale coordinated movements by many individuals at once (which are poorly understood), this species appears and disappears in large numbers from time to time (and apparently there are a lot of them in the Brisbane region at present).  It is also known to migrate over water (for example, I [Carla Catterall] have seen them flying across the ocean between Gladstone and Heron Island).

The larvae would have hatched, fed and pupated somewhere else, probably a long way away from Toohey Forest (tens to hundreds of km).

Thank you Dr Catterall.

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