Amaryllis or Satin Azure
(one synonym : Ogyris catharina C. & R. Felder, 1865)
ARHOPALINI, THECLINAE, LYCAENIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)
The egg of this species is mandarin shaped and dirty white, laid usually in small groups on the stems of a food plant. The Caterpillar is initially green and flattened with black clubbed setae. Later it becomes brown with obscure diagonal markings and some pale marks along the back. The caterpillars are usually attended by various species of ants.
The caterpillar hides by day in a crevice on the tree with its foodplant, which may be one of various species of Mistletoe (LORANTHACEAE), including :
The pupa is brown, with a dark line along the back flanked by a paler region each side.
The adult butterflies upper surfaces are an iridescent blue with black margins.
The margins are much narrower on the males.
Underneath they have a complex black, and brown pattern, with a number of white bars under the costa of each forewing.
The females also have have a number of red marks underneath. The red marks bear some resemblance to the red fruits of some of the mistletoe plants on which the eggs are laid. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 3.5 cms.
Confined to Casurina stands located mainly along waterways, the butterflies of this locally common species can be seen high up around the canopy. The species occurs over the whole of mainland Australia, as several races including:
The eggs are shaped like partly squashed spheres, each with about 50 tiny grey dimples, each of which is ringed with about a dozen tinier dimples. The eggs are white, turning yellow as hatching approaches, and have a diameter of about 1.3 mm. The eggs are laid singly on a leaf or stem of a foodplant.
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia,
CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 699-701.
William Chapman Hewitson,
Specimen of a Catalogue of Lycaenidae in the British Museum,
1862, p. 3, No. 11, and also Plate 1, figs. 5-6.
(updated 29 May 2012, 20 November 2013, 31 July 2020, 9 September 2021)