Catochrysops amasea Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914
Pale Blue
POLYOMMATINI ,   POLYOMMATINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


male from Moa (Banks) Island, Torres Strait
(Specimen : courtesy of Oxford University Natural History Museum)

These Caterpillars feed on the flowers and buds of plants like :

  • Tick Clover ( Desmodium heterocarpon, FABACEAE ).


    female
    from Moa (Banks) Island, Torres Strait
    (Specimen : courtesy of Oxford University Natural History Museum)

    The male butterflies of this species are lilac blue on top, with a narrow black line around the margin of each forewing, and a black spot and a thin tail at the tornus of each hindwing. Underneath, they are pale fawn in colour, with faint arcs of darker spots on both wings, and with a black spot edged in orange by the tail of each hindwing.

    The females are similar but with fawn upper surfaces to each wing with only a patch of lilac toward the base.

    The butterflies have a wingspan of about 2 cms. They are similar in colour to those of Catochrysops panormus, but have more rounded wings.


    underside
    from Moa (Banks) Island, Torres Strait
    (Specimen : courtesy of Oxford University Natural History Museum)

    The species occurs around the south-west Pacific, including

  • Eastern Caroline Islands,
  • Guam,
  • Papua,

    and in Australia in

  • Queensland on Cape York and adjacent islands.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 829-830.

    Gustavus Athol Waterhouse & George Lyell,
    The Butterflies of Australia,
    Angus & Robertson, 1914, Sydney, pp. 103-104, No. 144.


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    (updated 4 February 2010, 26 February 2015)