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Helping you identify, encourage and conserve New Zealand's 17 species > Home (Symbol of summer)

Symbol of summer


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Male Common Tussock

Butterflies are beautiful creatures that nearly everyone likes. They are a symbol of summer, so are a welcome sight for most in the spring as they herald warmer days to come. They are sun-loving creatures that float around before basking in the sun on flowers, stones and other perches.

Have you noticed New Zealand seems to have only a few butterflies, with the only commonly seen species being the Monarch and White Butterfly. In fact, there are seventeen native species in New Zealand and ten of these are lowland species, so are fairly easy to see. There is also two migrant species that get to our shores fairly often from Australia, another one that occasionally visits, plus three others that seldom bother to visit us!

Yellow Admiral and Common Copper

New Zealand is blessed to have a range of colourful butterflies that come in all sizes from small to large. The aim of the website is to help you identify each species and learn how to encourage them to your place. You will also learn where and when to look for each species.

Forest Ringlet photo donated by Jonathan Pote.
Forest Ringlet

Donate a photo please.
There is already many donated photo's on the website and full credit is given to the photographer by the picture and on the Acknowledgments page when used. Photo's can be sent via the contact page.

A glossary is provided for those scientific words that are used in this website. Such words are underlined and link to the plain English pop-up glossary. If you use a popup blocker, then a glossary is located in the 'Resources' menu on the top of each page.

Take a closer look, educate yourself and conserve what we have. > Home (Symbol of summer)