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Spotted Brown (Heteronympha paradelpha)

Spotted Brown
Male. (Blue Mountains NP, NSW, 21 / 02 / 2010)

Appearance: Upperside dark brown with several orange patches; males have an elongated, broad sex-brand on the fore wing. Underside mainly orange with characteristic pattern of dark lines and markings and three eyespots on the hind wing; females show extended purple colouration on the underside of the hind wing.
Wingspan: 4.5 cm
Season: 1 generation from January until April.
Range: Mountain ranges of south-eastern Australia; from the far south-east of QLD through eastern NSW, the ACT, and VIC.
Habitat: Moist gullies and creeks in wetter open forests.


The Spotted Brown is a typical mountain species that occurs along moist gullies and creeks in open forests across the Great Dividing Range and neighbouring mountain ranges in south-eastern Australia. This species is usually encountered at higher altitudes of up to 1500 m, but in cooler areas in the south it can be found all the way down to sea level. As with many Heteronympha species, the butterflies are very alert and often extremely difficult to approach, in particular in warm weather.

The Spotted Brown is very similar to other species in the genus Heteronympha, in particular the Shouldered Brown (Heteronympha penelope), Banks’ Brown (Heteronympha banksii), and Solander’s Brown (Heteronympha solandri). The Spotted Brown can be identified by the characteristic pattern of dark lines and markings and the presence of three small to medium-sized eyespots on the hind wing underside.

Additional Photos

Spotted Brown
Underside of a male with characteristic markings and large eyespots on the hind wing. (Glenbrook, NSW, 19 / 02 / 2011)
Spotted Brown
Another view of the characteristic underside of the male. (Glenbrook, NSW, 19 / 02 / 2011)