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Winged invaders take over Queensland skies

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The large numbers have shocked experts and residents across the south-east.

Winged invaders are taking over skies across south-east Queensland, as Caper Butterflies migrate by the million.

The large numbers have shocked experts and residents across the state.

Redcliffe local Moana Thomas couldn't believe what she was seeing when she spotted the swarm of insects filling the sky.

"All of a sudden, all of these butterflies came flying over and they just filled the sky like snow," she told 9News.

Butterfly expert Ross Kendall says the creatures are leaving their breeding grounds in the state's west to find new food after laying their eggs.

"The females lay up to 20 to 30 eggs on a leaf. The caterpillars hatch and munch off all of the plants," he told 9News.

The recent warm weather and heavy rain has created perfect conditions for the mass migration, that only occurs at this scale every six to 10 years.

The novelty is expected to last only a few more days.

"They head along and they disperse up the coast or even out to sea," Ross says.

The caterpillars of the Caper Butterfly only eat plants belonging to the caper family.

These include native capers and warrior bushes.

Source: 9News

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