IT'S not every day you get to see a huge swarm of butterflies fly in from the sea, but around 10.30am Sunday that's exactly what happened at Burnett Heads. 

Some gasped, while others likened the incoming swarm to a "cloud" and other people enjoying a morning in the sun just made comments like "holy moly".

The butterflies have been spotted over much of Queensland as they migrate west for their breeding season. 

It's a phenomenon occurring only every five or six years when seasonal conditions are just right, the cream-coloured Caper White (Belenois java) and the brown Meadow Argus (Junonia villida) have been making their way west towards the Great Dividing Range, where recent rains have created the perfect environment for caterpillars to thrive.

From there, some head east out to sea or further north and gradually dissipate.

Thousands upon thousands of butterflies at Burnett Heads.
Thousands upon thousands of butterflies at Burnett Heads. Crystal Jones

Ross Kendall of the Butterfly and Other Invertebrates Club said we should expect the pretty winged insects to be around for another month or so.

"They'll be busy for about a month, then I would expect it to taper off," he said.

"They're also breeding around here, so that will mean another generation of butterflies."

However, Mr Kendall added that this will also mean an explosion in the parasitic wasp and fly population, as butterfly eggs provide the perfect incubators for the wasp and fly larvae.

"Then suddenly the wasps and flies are wiping out the butterfly populations and the balance returns," he said.

"A whole lot of (wasps and flies) benefit from the butterfly breeding."

Butterflies have been fluttering in to the region.
Butterflies have been fluttering in to the region.

Residents have been reporting butterflies covering their car windscreens, backyards and windows.

The other butterfly known for such impressive migrations is the Blue Tiger, which swarmed the eastern coast in January last year.

Collectively, a group of butterflies is known as a flight or a wing but can also be referred to as a swarm.



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