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Celebrating Townsville Exhibition - The Artists

Educational resources regarding the artists participating in JCU Library's "Celebrating Townsville" exhibition for the T150 project

Apollo Jewel Butterfly

Apollo Jewel Butterfly, by Lucy T Smith

b.1968 Australia
Apollo Jewel Butterfly 1994
Watercolour on illustration board with printed overlay
40 x 30 cm
Purchased by the Botany Department for the James Cook
University Art Collection 1994
Photograph: Michael Marzik

Apollo Jewel Butterfly, by Lucy T. SMITH
Apollo Jewel Butterfly (1994),
by Lucy T. Smith (1968- ).
Photograph: Michae
l Marzik


Smith has stated, “within the Melaleuca woodlands there are some amazing plant and animal interactions. This was a page I invented to explain the relationship between a butterfly, some ants, and two plants. All depend on each other – the Melaleuca viridiflora tree is host to the epiphytic Myrmecodia becarrii, whose common name is 'ant plant'. The ants live inside this plant, and they look after the larvae of the Apollo jewel butterfly, keeping it safe from predators until it reaches maturity, transforms, and flies away. In return the ants get a special treat from the larvae – a sweet food which it produces for them as a treat. Everybody is happy.”

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country

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