Website of Tobias Westmeier

Orange Bush Brown (Mycalesis terminus)

Orange Bush Brown
Underside. (Daintree NP, QLD, 01 / 01 / 2006)

Appearance: Upperside dark brown with extended orange area and several eyespots. Underside light brown with narrow, dark band and conspicuous row of eyespots that seasonally vary in size and are much smaller during the dry season.
Wingspan: 3.8–4.3 cm
Season: Several generations all around the year.
Range: Along the east coast of QLD, from Cape York to just north of Fraser Island.
Habitat: Edges of rainforest, gallery forest, or eucalypt forest.


The Orange Bush Brown is a common and widespread species along the edges of tropical rainforest and moist gallery forest along the east coast of QLD. The butterflies are easy to observe because they often rest on exposed leaves. They can be readily identified through the extended orange colour on the upperside of the wings. There are a few similar species in the genus Mycalesis throughout eastern QLD, all of which, however, have the upperside uniformly brown.

The size of the characteristic eyespots on the underside of the wings varies seasonally. During the wet season the eyespots are particularly big, whereas during the dry season they can be very small and almost invisible. Intermediate forms are common (see Fig. 3).

Additional Photos

Orange Bush Brown
The Orange Bush Brown has a characteristic row of eyespots on the underside. (Wooroonooran NP, QLD, 21 / 08 / 2008)
Orange Bush Brown
Underside with the characteristic row of eyespots. (Edge Hill, QLD, 11 / 11 / 2012)
Orange Bush Brown
The eyespots vary in size and are much smaller during the dry season. (Wooroonooran NP, QLD, 21 / 08 / 2008)