Butterfly count at Kalimna Park – 25 November 2018
Posted on 7 November, 2018 by Tanya Loos
Join ecologists Elaine Bayes and Karl Just on a walk searching for the endangered Eltham Copper Butterfly, hosted by Friends of Kalimna Park.
The Eltham Copper Butterfly was once distributed around Victoria. Now the largest surviving population of this little butterfly lives in Castlemaine – it could very well be called the Castlemaine Copper Butterfly!
Karl and Elaine will lead us on a guided walk through the bushland at Kalimna Park on the edge of Castlemaine, and show us how to look for the adult butterflies. Friends of Kalimna Park members will explain how to help the habitat of these beautiful insects.
Friends of Kalimna Park’s Annual General Meeting will be at 12.00 – 12.30 pm, followed by a light lunch, with the butterfly walk and talk starting at 1.00 pm.
When: Sunday 25 November at 12.00 noon – 3.00 pm
Where: Kalimna Point Rotunda, Kalimna Road, Castlemaine VIC
RSVP: Numbers are limited – so book now! Contact Tanya Loos, (Monitoring and Engagement Coordinator at Connecting Country) by email at email@example.com or call our office on (03) 5472 1594.
All welcome! Please wear shoes and clothing appropriate for walking outside.
The reason I am fascinated with Eltham Coppers is because like many of the Blue butterfly family they have a weird and wonderful and totally dependent (obligate) three-way relationship with Notoncus ant species and Sweet Bursaria plants (Bursaria spinosa). Notoncus ants are nocturnal ants which live underground including at the base of Sweet Bursaria plants. Eltham Coppers lay their eggs at the base of a Sweet Bursaria plant and once hatched the larvae is guided into the ant nest and protected. The larvae overwinters in the nest and ants lead them out to graze at night exclusively on the leaves of Sweet Bursaria. In return, the ants feed on sugars which are excreted by the larvae’s honeydew gland.