Eve, the evening brown butterfly
Also known as common evening brown butterfly
Good evening everyone. I'm Eve, the evening brown butterfly, from Calamvale Creek in Brisbane, Australia.
I'm most active in the evenings around dusk, and also in the early mornings. I am a strong and swift flyer, although most of the flying you are likely to see is in short bursts.
Where do I live?
During the day I usually rest close to the ground in long grasses or on dead leaves.
This makes me hard to see and gives me some protection from predators.
The photo at left is of my cousin Evan. He has just come out for the night.
We like tall grasses, and lay our eggs on the tall blades, which also provide food for our caterpillars when the eggs hatch.
Who are our predators?
Because I rest all day close to the ground, the main predators I have to worry about are ground-prowling animals such as skinks (like the eastern water skink at right), geckos and other lizards, and water dragons.
Some birds and spiders are a problem if I am flying, so I look out for them too.
Our summer and winter forms
Evening brown butterflies have fairly distinct differences between our summer and winter forms.
In summer we are pale brown, as in the photo at right. With our wings closed we look like a dried leaf or a slightly crumpled piece of a brown paper bag.
Several black and yellow circles on our wings look like eyespots, and these can confuse predators who startle us and find we are suddenly opening our wings to reveal what looks like a critter with a lot of eyes.
The winter form is darker, and the eyespot patterns are tiny. Colours vary greatly, but there is usually a mottled pattern on the underside of the wings.
The black butterfly at left is an unusual negrid form found in summer. You can see the eyespots on the wings are like pin-pricks, and the colour surrounding them is almost non-existent. It's possible she was born and raised in an area of low humidity, but she looks like burned toast.
What do I eat?
I like ripe and rotting fruit. Some farmers regard us as pests, because we also like the large grass of sugarcane and rice plants.
Other things we do
After sunset the evening brown males set up territories along the creek edges. They perch with their wings closed on branches, long grasses, tree stumps, or leaves.
Female evening browns stop breeding through winter and take refuge in moist areas along the creek bank.
— Eve, the evening brown butterfly