Ogyris aenone (Waterhouse, 1902)
Cooktown Azure
ARHOPALINI,   THECLINAE,   LYCAENIDAE,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Ogyris aenone
(Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

These Caterpillars are lumpy, and reddish grey, with a pair of dark diagonal stripes on the back of every segment. The caterpillars have a pair of tubercles on the last segment which can project a white organ. The caterpillars hide by day in bark crevices. At night they emerge to feed on various Mistletoe (LORANTHACEAE), including :

  • Buloke Mistletoe ( Amyema linophyllum ),
  • Box Mistletoe ( Amyema miquelii ),
  • Long Flowered Mistletoe ( Dendrophthoe vitellina ),
  • Forked Mistletoe ( Diplatia furcata ),
  • Woolly Mistletoe ( Diplatia tomentosa ), and
  • Harlequin Mistletoe ( Lysiana exocarpi ).

    Ogyris aenone
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The caterpillars are always attended by ants from the subfamily DOLICHODERINAE : either

  • Wandering Ants- ( Anonychomyrma itinerans ), or
  • Australian Golden Ant ( Philidris cordatus ).

    Ogyris aenone       Ogyris aenone
    (Photos: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    Pupation occurs in a bark crevice. The pupa is brown with dak markings, and has a length of 1.6 cms.

    Ogyris aenone
    Male
    (Photos: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The butterflies are pale metallic blue on the upper surfaces with a narrow black edge to the costa and margin of each forewing.

    Ogyris aenone
    Female
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The females are very similar to the males.

    Ogyris aenone
    Male, underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    Underneath, they are grey with black markings edged in metallic green.

    Ogyris aenone
    Male
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The species is found in Australia in

  • Queensland, on the north coast and inland near Leyburn, and near Millmerran.

    Ogyris aenone
    Male
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 704-706.

    Gustavus Athol Waterhouse,
    Notes on Australian Rhopalocera: Lycaenidae, Part 1,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Volume 27, Part 3 (1902), pp. 339-340, and also Plate 14, fig 9.


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    (updated 17 June 2008, 20 November 2013, 31 July 2020)