Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia

A complete field guide to all butterfly species on Australia’s mainland and its remote islands.

This is the first complete field guide to all butterfly species on Australia’s mainland and its remote islands. + Full description

Written by one of Australia's leading lepidopterists, it is stunningly illustrated with colour photographs of each of the 416 currently identified species. There is also a distribution map for each species on the Australian mainland.

It covers the five major family groups: Hesperiidae, Paplionidae, Pieridae, Nymphalidae and Lycaenidae, as well as the family Riodinidae, which has but a single species in Australia.

The introduction covers adult structure, classification, distribution and habitats, and life cycle and behaviour. This is followed by accounts of each of the 416 species, giving common name, scientific name, and other names (if any), as well as details of behaviour, habitat, status, and larval food plants. Accompanying each species is a distribution map, and photographs of the upperside and underside of both male and female specimens.

The book also contains a checklist of all species, a list of entomological contacts, a glossary, a bibliography, an index of common names and an index of scientific names.

- Short description

News

A new edition of this title has been published in April 2016.

Written by one of Australia's leading lepidopterists, it is stunningly illustrated with colour photographs of each of the 416 currently identified species. There is also a distribution map for each species on the Australian mainland.

Reviews

". . . an excellent, up-to-date, affordable publication for anyone, amateaur or professional, interested in studying adult butterflies in the field."
The Victorian Naturalist, vol. 122(4), 2005

"… while enjoying watching or collecting Australian butterflies with the help of this magnificent field guide, you also have the opportunity to add to scientific knowledge and contribute to the preservation of biological diversity."
Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University

“... a book as technically accurate and artistically pleasing as any I have seen in recent years. ... I highly recommend it for professional entomologists and amateurs alike.”
John Moss (Butterfly & Other Invertebrates Club Newsletter no.35, 2004)

“Congratulations to the author and to all involved in the publication of this book it certainly is a ‘must buy’ for all who have an interest in Australian butterflies.”
Butterfly Conservation SA Newsletter Issue 19, Jan 2005

“This is a great, and long overdue book for anyone interested in Australia's fauna.”
Land for Wildlife Southeast Queensland, Jan 2005

“This book will … introduce Australians to a whole new facet of our natural history.”
Dave Britton, Australian Museum (Nature Australia Autumn 2005)

“Anyone interested in Australian butterflies, and others simply fascinated by Lepidoptera, will want this book.”
PK Lago, University of Mississippi, USA (Choice May 2005)

“It is a must for those wanting to identify Australian butterflies, be they amateurs or professionals. … I recommend it highly.”
Roy Sonnenburg (Wildlife Australia Autumn 2005)

“We recommend this field guide to all butterfly enthusiasts, entomolgists and conservationists, not only in Australia.”
J Jaros & K Spitzer (European Journal of Entomology v.102 no.1 2005)

“The photos are stunning and make identification foolproof. … Even the names are poetry … beautiful!”
Grass Roots no.172 Aug-Sep 2005

“The illustrations are superb and, together with the accompanying text and maps, should enable identification of even the most difficult species. It is highly recommended, particularly for those who enjoy watching or collecting butterflies in the field or have not lashed out on the more lavish ‘Butterflies of Australia’.”
David L Hancock (Australian Entomologist v.32 no.2 2005)

“This is a superb field guide for the naturalist, with multiple wings-spread full-colour images and locality maps of species throughout.”
The Australian 3 November 2004

"... this book is the ultimate in identifying and understanding our native butterflies... This is a valuable reference for nature lovers, gardeners and educators."
SubTropical Gardening, p.88, August 2013

Features

Supplementary section Collecting and Preserving Butterflies is available here as a free download (Adobe Acrobat format - 331 kb).

  • Winner of the 2005 Whitley Award for Field Guides
  • All 416 species photographed in colour
  • Distribution map for each species on the Australian mainland
  • Includes species found on Australia’s remote islands
  • Complete introduction to the biology of butterflies, and their habitats
  • Written by one of Australia’s leading lepidopterists

Authors

Dr Michael Braby has been collecting and studying Australian butterflies for more than 25 years. Travelling across most of the Australian continent, he has gained first-hand experience of more than 75% of Australia’s 416 species. He has reared and photographed numerous species and has built up an extensive private collection.

Michael Braby is the author of the major two-volume standard text, Butterflies of Australia, which won the Whitley Medal in 2000. He is the author of more than 40 refereed scientific papers and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Harvard University.