Nacaduba biocellata (C. Felder & R. Felder, 1865)
Double Spotted Line Blue
(one synonym : Cupido adamapuncta Tepper, 1882)
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

Nacaduba biocellata
(Photo: Don Herbson-Evans, Concord, New South Wales)

These Caterpillars can be nearly any colour: pink, orange, yellow, or green, and have varied markings. Their colour appears to depend on the nature of the shoots, flowers and buds on which they are feeding. They have a brown head, and are covered in fine hair.

Nacaduba biocellata
caterpillar with attendant ants on Wattle flowers
(Photo: Don Herbson-Evans, Concord, New South Wales)

The caterpillars feed on the flowers of various Wattles (MIMOSACEAE), for example:-

  • Red-Tip Wattle ( Acacia betchei ),
  • Deane's Wattle ( Acacia deanei ),
  • Southern Salwood ( Acacia disparrima ),
  • Green Wattle ( Acacia irrorata ),
  • Umbrellla Wattle ( Acacia oswaldii ),
  • Hickory Wattle ( Acacia penninervis ), and
  • Cooba ( Acacia salicina ).

    The caterpillars are usually attended by various species of ants from the subfamily DOLICHODERINAE, including :

  • large purple meat ants ( Iridomyrmex purpureus ),
  • large green meat ants ( Iridomyrmex viridiaeneus ), and
  • small black ants ( Iridomyrmex sp. ).

    The pupa is a uniform pale brown. It is formed in debris on the ground under the food plant.

    Nacaduba biocellata
    (Photo: courtesy of Museum Victoria)

    The female adults are brown on top. The males are blue on top, with narrow black margins.

    Nacaduba biocellata
    (Photo: Don Herbson-Evans, Concord, New South Wales)

    Underneath, they are both pale brown with light and dark wavy lines. Both sexes have two black spots both above and below on the tornus of each hind wing. The butterflies have a wing span of about 2 cms.

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

    The eggs are white and mandarin shaped. They are laid singly, usually on flower buds of a food plant.

    The species occurs from south-east Asia to the south Pacific, including:

  • Singapore,

    and over the whole of mainland Australia:

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Australian Capital Territory,
  • Victoria,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia.

    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 787-788.

    Baron Cajetan Felder & Rudolf Felder,
    Lepidoptera. Rhopalocera,
    Reise der Osterreichischen Fregatte Novara,
    Band 2, Abtheilung 2, Part 2 (1865), p. 280, No. 352, and also Plate 35, fig. 14.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 16 September 2010, 16 November 2013)