ORNATE OCHRE Trapezites genevieveae Wingspan: 30 - 32 mm
Sighted: November - December (2017) (Often sighted as early as 09.00 hrs)
Status at Claire Cottage: Initially uncommon, becoming increasingly common with 2 or 3 often in the garden together.
Larval Food Plant Growing here; Lomandra spicata Growing elsewhere; (as above - only one known foodplant)
Lomandra spicata, the only known foodplant for the Ornate Ochre, grows under canopy within warm temperate and sub-tropical rainforest. The destruction of much rainforest in Northern NSW and Southern QLD has resulted in Lomandra spicata becoming a far less common sedge possibly resulting in the Ornate Ochre becoming less common also. We are thrilled to find both Lomandra spicata and the Ornate Ochre surviving in our remnant rainforest areas. We continue to plant more Lomandra spicata each year and believe it has resulted in us being able to sight the Ornate Ochre adult much more frequently each new summer.
This photo clearly shows the ♂ Ornate Ochre's proboscis dipping into a Verbena flower, Claire Cottage Dorrigo, Nov 30 2015, 11.42 am
Ornate Ochre male feeding on Buddleia, Claire Cottage Dorrigo, Dec 11 2015, 8.09 am
The Ornate Ochre is known to live in montane areas between 200 and 800 metres and has previously been recorded on the Dorrigo Plateau (Braby Butterflies of Australia Vol One CSIRO 2000). It is an uncommon butterfly whose habitat has been greatly reduced by the destruction of so much of the New South Wales and Queensland rainforests.
Two other Ochre butterflies, the Northern Silver and the Southern Silver have markings very similar to the Ornate Ochre. Photographs of both upper and under sides need to be carefully checked using a good reference book in an attempt to confirm identification. The females of these three species are very similar and are particularly difficult to identify.
Ornate Ochre male showing upperside, Claire Cottage Dorrigo, Dec 9 2015, 8.47 am
The same butterfly showing underside, Claire Cottage Dorrigo, Dec 9 2015, 8.39 am