"Cairns Birdwing Butterfly Caterpillar"
Photographed in the Daintree region of Tropical North Queensland, feeding on its favourite food, the Aristolochia Vine.
Aristolochia vines are poisonous. The Birdwing caterpillars use this plant's poison for their own protection by storing the toxins in prominent fleshy orange-red spines on their backs. It uses those bright colours and sharp spines to ward off predators.
The Cairns Birdwing is our biggest butterfly in Australia with a wingspan of up to 15 cm (5.9 in) in females, and 12.5 cm (4.9 in) in males.