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Contents > Butterflies > Migrant > Lesser Wanderer

Lesser Wanderer


Danaus chrysippus petilia

Distribution & Status Lesser Wanderer Distrubtion Map

Rare migrant Western areas and Bay of Plenty.

iNaturalist NZ
Observations map

Scientific Classification More info











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Very occasionally seen in New Zealand during summer months, generally after storms. First recorded in 1904. It's being know to breed here. Caterpillars feed on Swan plant. Native of Australia, Asia, Middle East and Africa.

Ovum  In English

Creamy colour and cone-shaped with vertical ribs.

Larvae  In English

Smooth head with white face with black triangle. Body has black and yellow strips with 3 pairs of filaments which come out of a reddish area.

Pupa  In English

Smooth, short and stout. Can be pale green or pinkish with 2-6 golden spots near the head. Hangs upside down by cremaster in some nearby sheltered spot.

Imago  In English

The imago has a wingspan 60-80mm. The male has androconial scales on the upper hind wings which are absent on the female.


Open country in it's normal range, but I suspect would be a garden Butterfly in New Zealand like the Monarch due to foodplant availability.

Food Plants

Swan plant (Gomphocarpus fruticosus), Giant Swan Plant (Asclepias physocarpus), Tropical Milkweed - Bloodflower (Asclepias Curassavica), Pentatropis atropurpurea, Pentatropis quinquepartita and Marsdenia leichhardtiana.

Lifecycle of Lesser Wanderer

Contents > Butterflies > Migrant > Lesser Wanderer