Bordered Rustic

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Cupha prosopeGenus: Cupha
Species: Cupha prosope
Common names: Bordered Rustic
ALA reference

In early July, I was photographing butterflies in a clearing in the south-east corner of The Fort, and was delighted when a rare butterfly, the Bordered Rustic (Cupha prosope), settled on the ground in front of me. The Bordered Rustic was once reasonably common in western Brisbane, but like many of our rainforest species, its population has declined significantly due to the loss of its habitat. The main host plant for the Bordered Rustic is Flintwood (Scolopia braunii), a medium to large slow-growing tree found in riverine, sub- tropical and dry rainforests. John has not documented Flintwood as growing in The Fort, nor any of the other known host plants for the Bordered Rustic such as Flacourtia and Xylosma species. I wonder what this individual was doing in The Fort? Looking for suitable habitat, or maybe just passing through? (Deborah Metters)

Note by John Lahey – Flacourtia jangomas does grow in the reserve but because it is a weed I have not recorded it in our native plant list. Only one tree remains and its leaves have been eaten rather badly but I suspect the culprits might be ringtail possums rather than Bordered Rustic caterpillars.

(August 2013)