Ogyris aenone (Waterhouse, 1902)
Cooktown Azure
ARHOPALINI ,   THECLINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
( donherbisonevans@outlook.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 :

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

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

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

  • 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.


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    (updated 17 June 2008, 20 November 2013)