Sighted: Usually only one sighting per year-to date only males - Aug-2006; Sept-2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2019; Oct-2005, 2012; Feb-2002; Apr-2010
Known Larval Food Plants: A number of species of the native Aristolochia (including Aristolochia meridionalis) and Pararistolochia praevenosa (but none are known to be growing this far south of Grafton).
Clearwing Swallowtail male at Claire Cottage, feeding on Rosemary flowers which show through its wings, 16 Sep 2016, 2.11 pm
The same male in our garden showing the beautiful red markings, Claire Cottage, 16 Sep 2016, 2.11 pm
We have only sighted males on our property. They have usually been in a hurry flying broadly in a southerly direction and usually not taking time out to feed.
However our most recent sightings were exceptions – a male on 05/09/16 at 03.15 pm and another on 16/09/16 at 01.00 pm. Both days were warm and sunny with temperatures in the 18-20°C range.
The first was feeding on Eriostemonaustralasius which was in full flower. The butterfly took flight before we could return with a camera. On this occasion it flew due north over our rainforest.
The second one stopped with us for many minutes and fed on Rosemary which was also in full flower. It would glide and then fly to gain height over the house or trees appearing to circuit the garden and return to the Rosemary. Finally we were able to get some photos of a Cressida cressida here at Claire Cottage.
A close-up of the male Clearwing Swallowtail 's head, Claire Cottage, 16 Sep 2016.
Female Clearwing Swallowtail near Dorrigo, 9 Dec 2014, 11.13 am (Photo Ros Coy)
Another shot of the female Clearwing near Dorrigo, 9 Dec 2014 (Photo Ros Coy)
Clearwing Swallowtail male, Granite Gorge near Mareeba, FN Qld, 17 Mar 2016, 3.31 pm
Clearwing Swallowtail male in Granite Gorge Nth. Qld possibly newly hatched as its foodplant grew nearby. 17 Mar 2016, 3.57 pm
A species of Aristolochia scrambling across the ground at Granite Gorge, Nth. Qld.
A larva that has just changed its skin, late Nov 2018, near Grafton (Photo Pete Richards)
Larval foodplant Aristolochia meridionalis, late Nov 2018, near Grafton (Photo Pete Richards)
As none of the Clearwing Swallowtail's known food plants are thought to grow naturally on or near the Dorrigo Plateau we have only made rare sightings here. Our few sightings at Claire Cottage have always been of males. The butterflies seldom stay with us for more than a few moments. Understanding why males come this far south if their larval food plant does not grow south of Grafton is a mystery still to be solved.