Ogyris barnardi Miskin, 1890
Bright Purple Azure
ARHOPALINI,   THECLINAE,   LYCAENIDAE,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Ogyris barnardi
(Photo: courtesy of Martin Lagerwey, Ungarie, New South Wales)

The Caterpillar of this species is pinkish-brown and somewhat corrugated with black dots, a brown head, and two ridges on the tail. It feeds on various species of Mistletoe (LORANTHACEAE) such as :

  • Fleshy Mistletoe (Amyema miraculosa), and
  • Grey Mistletoe (Amyena quandang),

    which are parasites on:

  • various Wattles (Acacia, MIMOSACAE).

    The caterpillars typically feed nocturnally, and hide in crevices by day. The caterpillars are usually attended by the small black ants :

  • Acrobat Ants (Crematogaster, MYRMICINAE).

    Ogyris barnardi
    (Photo: courtesy of Martin Lagerwey, Ungarie, New South Wales)

    The pupa is mottled dark brown with a length of about 1.5 cms. Pupation usually occurs in a crevice or under bark on the foodplant host.

    Ogyris barnardi
    male
    (Picture: courtesy of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences)

    The adults are metallic purple on top, the females having a broader black margin to the wings.

    Ogyris barnardi
    female
    (Picture: courtesy of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences)

    Both sexes are blotchy fawn underneath. The forewings each have a series of black and white stripes under the leading edge. The butterflies have a wingspan of 3 to 4 cms. They are rather sluggish flyers.

    Ogyris barnardi
    egg, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Ken Walker, Millmerran, Qeensland)

    The eggs are brown, knobby, round, and flattened, with a diameter of about 0.8 mm. They are laid singly on leaves or flowerbuds of a foodplant.

    Ogyris barnardi
    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Martin Purvis)

    The species occurs over the inland of south-eastern Australia as two races :

  • barnardi in
         Northern Territory, and Queensland, and New South Wales, and Victoria, and
  • delphis Tindale, 1952, in
         South Australia.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2.

    Kelvyn L. Dunn,
    Field Notes: Major extensions to the known distribution of the Bright Purple Azure, Ogyris barnardi (Miskin 1890) in Queensland (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae),
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 68 (March 2013), pp. 26-32.

    William Henry Miskin,
    A Revision of the Australian Genus Ogyris, with Description of a new Species,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Series 2, Volume 5, Part 1 (1890), pp. 27-28.


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    (updated 11 July 2004, 20 September 2013, 5 August 2020)