Breeding season on the Dorrigo Plateau: Thought to be September to April
Flight habit: Throughout the day but more active early morning and very late afternoon.
Habitat: Rainforest - subtropical, warm temperate, littoral and suburban gardens.
Items of Interest: The Narrow-banded Awl butterfly that we sighted at Claire Cottage in Nov 2016 was feeding on buddleia. Even though the weather remained fine and hot it was several days later until we saw it again and photographed it, now looking much older, its wings being quite damaged. It was feeding on Buddleia flowers between 07.30pm and 07.45pm by which time the light had began fading quickly. It was not until Dec 2017 that we sighted one in the garden again, this time on 19th Dec much later at 08.20pm but again feeding on Buddleia.
Our May 2020 sighting did not allow for a photograph as the butterfly flew close to the ground near to Carol before then climbing to the top of the nearby rainforest and going out of sight.
The Narrow-banded Awl is another infrequent visitor to our garden but a butterfly we trust will slowly increase in numbers here at Claire Cottage as our Wisteria* vine matures and we attempt to introduce native Callerya vines within our rainforest regeneration area. However during Spring 2017 possums discovered our exotic Wisteria vine and stripped it of all its leaves - regrettably this may have a negative impact on our Narrow-banded Awl population.
Narrow-banded Awl larvae when young cut out a piece of leaf and fold it back to form a shelter on the leaf surface. More mature larvae will construct shelters using several leaves and will ultimately pupate in a shelter of this nature. Larvae rest quietly in these shelters during the day and come out to feed at night.