Erina acasta (Cox, 1873)
Blotched Blue
(formerly known as Candalides acasta)
CANDALIDINI,   POLYOMMATINAE,   LYCAENIDAE,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Erina acasta
female
(Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, South Stradbroke Island, Queensland)

This Caterpillar is green with yellow lines. It feeds nocturnally inside the flower buds of various species of Dodder Laurel (Cassytha, LAURACEAE), including :

  • Common Dodder Laurel ( Cassytha filiformis ),
  • Slender Dodder Laurel ( Cassytha glabella ),
  • Streaked Dodder Laurel ( Cassytha peninsularis ), and
  • Downy Dodder Laurel ( Cassytha pubescens ).

    The pupa is narrow and brown with a few black spots. The abdomen has a pair of lateral flanges. The pupa is attached typically to a host plant near the ground by anal hooks and girdle.

    Erina acasta
    male
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The male and female adults are similar: brown on top with a blue sheen. Underneath, they are fawn with brown shading and rows of dark dashes. The butterflies have a wing span of about 2 cms.

    Erina acasta
    underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The eggs are pale green, rough, round, and flatteed. They are usually laid singly on flower buds of a foodplant.

    Erina acasta
    (Photo: courtesy of Martin Purvis, taken at Ingleburn, New South Wales)

    The species occurs in the southern half of Australia, including :

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria,
  • Tasmania,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 768-769.

    H. Ramsay Cox,
    Entomological notes from South Australia,
    The Entomologist,
    Volume 6 (1873), p. 402, No. 2.


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    (updated 16 September 2010, 30 October 2013, 12 March 2015, 1 August 2020, 6 March 2021)