Queenslanders wowed by 'butterfly blizzard' in the south-east

Hundreds of millions of butterflies have flown to Queensland’s south-east in a beautiful display which is said to happen only once a decade on this scale.

The phenomenon deemed a ‘butterfly blizzard’ is the Caper White or ‘common white’ butterfly migrating from west of the Great Dividing Range to lay eggs.

The remarkable migration sees millions of butterflies flock to the south-east to lay 60-100 eggs each on caper bushes.

Local butterfly expert Ray Archer told the Sunshine Coast Daily the butterflies lay eggs in large numbers and then hatched caterpillars strip the shrubs to nothing.

L: Photo by Deb Larks R: Photo by Cathy Collins.
L: Photo by Deb Larks R: Photo by Cathy Collins.

Once done, the butterflies then head east.

Mr Archer said the butterfly migration was normal for this time for year but those this large were less common, happening only once every six to ten years.

He told Fairfax looking out his window at Bribie Island he could see up to 20 butterflies a minute.

The Caper White butterfly. Photo: Australian Museum
The Caper White butterfly. Photo: Australian Museum

Mr Archer expected the migration to last about three weeks.

Earlier this week a Queensland man copped criticism for allegedly poisoning a tree full of butterflies in the Lockyer Valley.

It was claimed the man didn't like how the butterflies were upsetting his dog.

Decent rain and warmer conditions were considered perfect breeding conditions for the butterflies.

Local residents from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast reported seeing butterflies in “plague-like proportions”.

The Caper White is common in Queensland’s west and NSW.

The butterfly is mostly white but has a black edging around its wings.