(one synonym : Amblypodia pseudocentaurus Doubleday, 1847)
ARHOPALINI, THECLINAE, LYCAENIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)
These caterpillars are green with a brownish dorso-lateral lines and markings. The caterpillars are unusual in that they make noises. They are able to make clicking sounds.
They live in a silk shelter between curled leaves of a food plant. They feed on a variety of plants, including :
and they are attended by the green ants :
and grow to a length of about 2.5 cms.
They pupate in their larval shelter. The pupa is green with brown markings. Its length is about 2 cms. The pupae also are able to make clicking noises.
The adult butterflies are far from dull The males are a brilliant metallic purple, and the females a brilliant blue.
The hind wings each have a little tail. The females have a black border around each fore wing. The butterflies have a wing span of about 4 cms.
Underneath, the butterflies are cream and fawn, with arcs of brown markings outlined in white. There is a small black eyespot at the rear tip of each hind wing.
The eggs are laid in groups of one to three on twigs of a foodplant bearing a nest of their attending ant species. The eggs are pale greyish-green and are flattened spheres, with a diameter of about 0.7 cms. The surface is minutely pitted.
The species is found over south-east Asia, including
as well as in Australia, where it occurs as two sub-species :
asopus (Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914) in
and centaurus in
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 687-688.
Johan Christian Fabricius,
Historiae Natvralis Favtoribvs,
1775, p. 520, No. 329.
(updated 30 August 2008, 9 October 2013)