Caterpillars Bury Underground For Safety

Post date: Jul 15, 2020 5:22:49 AM

There’s hope for an endangered species of butterfly found only in the Central Tablelands, as scientists confirm clever caterpillars of the purple copper butterfly may have buried themselves underground to shelter from last summer’s bushfires.

Threatened Species Officer for the Department of Planning and Industry, Jess Petrie, says “The purple copper butterfly is found only in the central tablelands of NSW and as the fires passed through Lithgow, we were concerned about the impacts of the fire on both the butterfly and its habitat.”

She also says that “Because the butterfly is so rare and only active for a few months each year, we won’t know the exact impact on adult butterfly numbers until spring this year when we do more surveys.”

With the species playing a critical role in the ecosystem to do with pollination, community awareness to try and save the insect is important.