There are five main families of butterflies in Australia. They are Blues and Coppers (Lycaenidae), Bowns and Nymphs (Nymphalidae), Skippers (Hesperiidae), Swallow Tails (Papilionidae), and Whites and Yellows (Pieridae).

With around 416 species of butterfly in the country, most are concentrated in North-east Queensland where tropical rainforests like the Daintree exist. Outside of this area, there are less species and they also tend to be less spectacular. Tasmania has only 39 species due to its colder climate while South Australia being warm contains 64 species due to being too dry. A wet tropical climate is optimal and the reason why there are 225 species of butterfly in Cape York Peninsula alone.

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