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

Theclinesthes albocinctus
(Photo: courtesy of Ross P. Field, Museums 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 in EUPHORBIACEAE, including :

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

    Theclinesthes albocinctus
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The adult males are bluish-grey, with a black spot beside the tornus of each hindwing.

    Theclinesthes albocinctus
    female
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The females are brown with some variable blue areas around the bases. Both sexes have chequered margins, and a small tail at the tornus of each hindwing. The butterflies have a wing-span of about 2 cms.

    Theclinesthes albocinctus
    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Museums Victoria)

    Underneath, the butterflies are pale brown. with wriggly white lines.

    The species occurs over most of Australia, including

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • 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, 10 August 2020)