Insects are a very important part of our gardens. They provide a lot of free services:

  • pollination of food and fruit crops so we get better fruit set and more seeds

  • food for the birds and fauna we love to see

  • decomposers break down dead material into nutrients that can be used by plants and micro organisms

  • some insects eat other insects and keep pests at a lower level

Case moth




How to keep the insects thriving?

plant more flowers and the plants they like to lay eggs on

leave some areas of grass unmown

don't be too tidy

use less chemicals

have some areas with leaf litter and bits of bark

Butterflies & Moths

Butterflies & moths are insects too. Butterflies are an attractive addition to a garden. There are over 400 different ones in Australia. Add some rocks in the garden as butterflies are ectotherms which means they need somewhere to heat up. The rocks will also be useful for lizards for the same purpose.

Provide some safe water source for butterflies by putting some sand and water in a bowl. Moths are often overlooked because they are mostly out at night. They are a very important food source for fauna that is also out at night. There are over 22000 species of moths.

Butterflies like nectar so grow eucalypts, grevilleas, and flowers with a flat platform to land on, like daisies. Larvae (caterpillars) are part of the butterfly life cycle and need eucalypts, sedges, grasses and wattles. Native bees have a preference for indigenous plants over exotics although they will use natives and exotic flowers.

Australian Admiral

Female Common Brown

Painted Lady

Barred Skipper

Caper White


Butterfly water source

Grass Blue