The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia

Paperback - April 2016 - AU $40.00 (AU $49.95)
On sale until 29-Feb

eBook - April 2016 - eRetailers Google Books Kobo

A fully updated guide to all butterfly species on Australia's mainland and remote islands.

As fascinating as they are beautiful, butterflies are a pleasure to watch and an important group of invertebrates to study. This second edition of the award-winning book The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia is a fully updated guide to all butterfly species on Australia's mainland and remote islands. + Full description

Written by one of Australia's leading lepidopterists, the book is stunningly illustrated with colour photographs, many of which are new, of each of the 435 currently recognised species. There is also a distribution map and flight chart for each species on the Australian mainland, together with information on similar species, variation, behaviour, habitat, status and larval food plants.

The introduction to the book covers adult structure, higher classification, distribution and habitats, as well as life cycle and behaviour. A new chapter on collecting and preserving butterflies is included. There is also an updated checklist of all species, a glossary, a bibliography and indexes of common and scientific names.

- Short description


"This useful and attractive book retains and enhances the values of the first edition as an indispensable guide to Australia's butterflies, and will be of lasting value to all interested in our remarkable insect fauna."
TR New, Victorian Naturalist 133(6), December 2016

"The work's softcover appears durable and will likely withstand the moderate wear and tear that daypack contents and misadventures of field usage will subject it to, and its half A4 size will ease cartage. I recommend this work to all naturalists who have any measure of curiosity about the Australian butterfly fauna; it will educate the novice, hasten identifications outdoors, and guide as to where the early stages may be found... I congratulate Michael Braby on producing an outstanding piece... the best field guide I have seen on the Australian fauna."
Kelvyn L. Dunn, Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc. Newsletter 59, October 2016

"A must for planting a butterfly garden."
Ally Jackson, Gardening Australia Magazine, May 2016

"The glory of this book is its introduction. It begins with an anatomy lesson on body, leg and wing structure the technical vocabulary comes thick and fast, but large and well-labelled diagrams make it easy for a novice to integrate. And it's worth making an effort - as any biologist knows, our linguistic shorthand is essential for a smooth conversation."
Paul Jones, Wild Melbourne (blog), 5 April 2016

"The first edition of this book is always within my arm's reach... I can personally vouch that I use this Field Guide to identify the butterflies I come across and to track down important host plants. Without doubt, if you are interested in attracting or protecting native butterflies, this is an essential reference."
Paul Plant, subTropical Gardening Magazine (41), June 2016

"I was excited to see the second edition of this book published as I've made very good use of the first... This second edition expands substantially on the original with approximately 20 additional species and a comprehensive revision to reflect up-to-date current knowledge... a must have field guide for anyone serious about identifying butterflies in Australia."
Todd Burrows, Land for Wildlife South East Queensland, July 2016

"the superb photographic colour plates of specimens in their classically set positions with both recto and verso images are second-to-none for easy diagnosis to species and sub-species level... the tests of a must-have book on this subject are the extent of wear and tear (as first-stop-shop) and whether it fits in the car's glove box! The first edition of the Field Guide has been the clear winner on both counts, and I fully expect that this second edition will be similarly used and referred."
Mark M. Hunting, Metamorphosis Australia, September 2016

"a good field guide to butterflies can provide an excellent window into the world of insects. Michael Braby's revised guide to Australian butterflies does that."
Tim Low, Wildlife Australia, Winter 2016

"I can wholeheartedly recommend this book for anyone with a casual interest in butterflies, through to those who aspire to find and identify as many of Australia's 435 species as they can."
Frank Pierce, Victorian Entomologist 46(4), August 2016

"This really is an excellent, very professional field guide. It is hard to imagine someone with an interest in the Australian fauna heading east without this book. It is quite heavy, but there is everything a visitor would want or need between the covers... Highly recommended.
John Tennent, Atropos 58, 2017

"The text is comprehensive and articulate in its delivery, yet light enough to easily follow. Even those unfamiliar with this invertebrate group will not to get lost in the details... This is a highly recommended read"
Natasha Shadie, Australian Veterinary Journal 95(5), May 2017


Paperback | April 2016 | $ 49.95
ISBN: 9781486301003 | 400 pages | 215 x 148 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Colour photographs, Colour plates, Illustrations, Maps

ePDF | April 2016
ISBN: 9781486301010
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers

ePUB | April 2016
ISBN: 9781486301027
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • Completely new edition
  • Incorporates major changes to the higher classification and taxa order
  • Includes new and reclassified species
  • Includes new and updated photos


Preface to the First Edition
Preface to the Second Edition
Adult structure
Higher classification
Distribution and habitats
Life cycle and behaviour
How to use this book
How to identify Australian butterflies
Collecting and preserving butterflies
Swallowtails Family Papilionidae
Skippers Family Hesperiidae
Whites and Yellows Family Pieridae
Nymphs Family Nymphalidae
Metalmarks Family Riodinidae
Blues Family Lycaenidae
Remote island species
Checklist of Australian butterflies
Index to Common Names
Index to Scientific Names
Further information


Dr Michael Braby has been collecting and studying Australian butterflies for 35 years. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University and Chief Editor of Austral Entomology. He is particularly interested in the conservation, systematics, taxonomy, biogeography, biology and ecology of diurnal Lepidoptera and has published extensively in the field.