Orange Lacewing

An Orange Lacewing butterfly perched on a green leaf with wings open


The undersurface of the wings of a Orange Lacewing Butterfly

Undersurface of the wing

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Scientific Name: Cethosia penthesilea

Size: TL 65-70mm

What does it look like?

The Orange Lacewing has upper wings with black outer margins which are more extensive on the forewings, and has large orange centers. The forewings have a large, elongated white patch on each. The undersurface of the wings are orange-brown and are heavily mottled with white and black. Both sexes are similar, although females are more brownish. The Caterpillar is brown, with a conspicuous white segment at the center of the body, some white patches along the sides, and is covered with short black spikes.


Where is it found?

Occurs in tropical habitats in the north of the Northern Territory. 

What are its habitats & habits?

The Orange Lacewing is typically found along streams within monsoonal forests and vine thickets, where the caterpillar feeds on Lacewing Vine Adenia heterophylla. Adults are most common at the onset of the dry season and are active around patches of sunlight. They lay pale yellow, ribbed eggs in clusters around the stem of foodplants.

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A Naturaliust's Guide to the Butterflies of Australia cover

This species features in my book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Butterflies of Australia

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