Website of Tobias Westmeier

Banks’ Brown (Heteronympha banksii)

Banks' Brown
Upperside of a male. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 01 / 03 / 2008)

Appearance: Upperside and fore wing underside brown with extended orange patches. Hind wing underside mainly brown and purple with two conspicuous eyespots.
Wingspan: 4.5–5.0 cm
Season: 1 generation from January until May.
Range: Montane areas of VIC, NSW, and south-eastern QLD. In NSW and VIC also near the coast.
Habitat: Open forest, up to 900 m.


Banks’ Brown is a typical and common species of open forests in the montane areas of south-eastern Australia. It can be distinguished from similar species of the genus Heteronympha by the characteristic pattern of orange patches on the upperside as well as the strong purple colour on the hind wing underside which is typically absent or less extended in similar species. Males have a prominent sex-brand on the upperside of the fore wing. The butterflies are often found resting on exposed branches and leaves where they are easy to observe.

Additional Photos

Banks' Brown
Males have an elongated sex-brand on the upperside of the fore wings. (Blue Mountains NP, 19 / 02 / 2011)
Banks' Brown
Females lack the sex-brand on the fore wing upperside. (Blue Mountains NP, NSW, 29 / 03 / 2008)
Banks' Brown
The hind wing underside (here of a male) shows a strong purple colouration. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 01 / 03 / 2008)
Banks' Brown
Females have the purple colour on the hind wing underside even more extended. (Blue Mountains NP, NSW, 20 / 03 / 2010)
Banks' Brown
The butterflies are rarely seen feeding from flowers. (Blue Mountains NP, NSW, 19 / 02 / 2011)