Theclinesthes albocincta (Waterhouse, 1903)
Bitter-Bush Blue
(previously known as Utica albocincta)
POLYOMMATINI ,   POLYOMMATINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Theclinesthes albocincta
(Photo: courtesy of R.P. Field, Museum Victoria)

This caterpillar is green or brown with a broad pink dorsal stripe with white borders. The caterpillar grows to a length of about 1 cm. It is often attended by a variety of ants. The caterpillars feed on a number of plants, including :

  • Bitterbush ( Adriana tomentosa ), and
  • Rare Bitterbush ( Adriana quadripartita ),

    all of EUPHORBIACEAE.

    Theclinesthes albocincta
    Female
    (Photo: courtesy of Museum Victoria)

    The adults are bluish-grey on top with chequered margins. Underneath, they are pale brown. with wriggly white lines. The hind wings each have a small tail. The males have a black spot on the upper side of each hind wing, beside the tail. The butterflies have a wing span of about 2 cms.

    Theclinesthes albocincta
    Male
    (Photo: courtesy of Museum Victoria)

    The species occurs over most of Australia, including

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • Victoria,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 809-811.

    Gustavus Athol Waterhouse,
    Notes on Australian Rhopalocera : Lycaenidae,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Volume 28, Part 1 (1903), p. 242.


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    (updated 26 July 2009, 21 September 2013)