Nacaduba berenice (Herrich-Schaffer, 1869)
Six Line Blue
(previously known as Pepliphorus berenice)
POLYOMMATINI ,   POLYOMMATINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Nacaduba berenice
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

This Caterpillar may have various colours, from green to pink, probably depending on its food. It has a dark line along the back. It feeds on the flower buds and young shoots of various plants, including :

  • Poppel Nut ( Macadamia integrifolia, PROTEACEAE ),
  • Beach Bird's Eye ( Alectryon coriaceus, SAPINDACEAE ), and
  • Australian Elm ( Aphananthe philippinensis, ULMACEAE ).

    Nacaduba berenice
    (Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, South Stradbroke Island, Queensland)

    The Caterpillar is usually attended by small black ants from a variety species, including

  • Golden-tailed Spiny Ant (Polyrhachis ammon).

    The pupa is mottled brown, held by anal hooks and girdle to a leaf or flower. It has a length of about 1 cm.

    Nacaduba berenice
    Male
    (Photo: courtesy of John Lahey, Fort Bushcare Group, Queensland)

    The adult male is mauve on the upper surfaces of the wings. The female is mauve but fading to dark grey at the edges of the wings, and has subterminal arcs of white chevrons on each hind wing. The hind wings of both sexes have a short tail, and the females have black spots beside the tail on the upper surfaces of each hind wing.

    Nacaduba berenice
    Female
    (Photo: courtesy of John Lahey, Fort Bushcare Group, Queensland)

    The undersurfaces of the wings are fawn, with half a dozen arcs of white dashes, and with one or two black spots on the tornus of each hind wing. The wingspan is about 2 cms.

    Nacaduba berenice
    egg on a shoot, attended by a caring ant (Photo: courtesy of John Lahey, Fort Bushcare Group, Queensland)

    The eggs are laid singly on shoots of a foodplant. The eggs are white, round and flattened.

    Nacaduba berenice
    (Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, South Stradbroke Island, Queensland)

    The species occurs over much of southeast Asia, including:

  • India,
  • Philippines,
  • Sri Lanka,
  • Taiwan,
  • Thailand,

    and the coastal areas of

  • Queensland and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 783-784.

    Gottlieb August Wilhelm Herrich-Schäffer,
    Neue Schmetterlinge aus dem "Museum Godeffroy" in Hamburg,
    Stettin Entomologische Zeitung,
    Volume 30 , Parts 1-3 (1869), p. 74, No. 33.


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    (updated 16 September 2010)