Psychonotis caelius (C.Felder, 1860)
Small Green Banded Blue
(one synonym: Danis macleayi Druce & Bethune-Baker, 1893)
POLYOMMATINI ,   POLYOMMATINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
( donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Psychonotis caelius
(Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

This Caterpillar is pale green and hairy, with a pale edged dark dorsal band.

Psychonotis caelius
(Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

It lives on the underside of a leaf of its food plant, which can be :

  • Red Ash ( Alphitonia excelsa, RHAMNACEAE ), or
  • Pink Ash ( Alphitonia petriei, RHAMNACEAE ).

    In captivity: the caterpillars are antagonistic to each other, and inclined to be cannabalistic.

    Psychonotis caelius       Psychonotis caelius
    (Photos: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The pupa is cream with brown markings and sparse hairs. Its length is about 1 cm. It is formed attached to the underside of a foodplant leaf.

    Psychonotis caelius
    male
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The male adults are blue on top with a large white patch on each hindwing. The females are black with a large white patch on each wing.

    Psychonotis caelius
    underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    Underneath, both sexes are white with a black border. Along the underside of the costa of each forewing there is an iridescent pale green stripe. Along the margin of the underside of each hindwing there is a row of black spots each ringed in pale iridescent green. The adults have a wingspan of about 3 cms.

    Psychonotis caelius
    an egg, highly magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The eggs are white, round flattened and rough. The are laid typically in ones or twos by a vein under a leaf of a young foodplant.

    Psychonotis caelius
    (Photo: courtesy of Don McNicol)

    The species occurs in

  • New Guinea and adjacent islands,

    and over the eastern coastal areas of Australia including

  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.

    Three subspecies have been recognised in Australia, although their standing is controversial :

  • taygetus (C. & R. Felder, 1865),
  • salamandri (Macleay, 1866), and
  • taletum (Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914).

    Psychonotis caelius
    (Photo: courtesy of Nick Monaghan, Tewantin, Queensland)


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 794-795.

    Helen Schwencke,
    Fox Gully Bushcare Restoration -Saturday 5th February 2011,
    Metamorphosis Australia Issue 60 (March 2011), pp. 35-38,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.


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    (updated 2 June 2008, 23 November 2013)