Arhopala centaurus (Fabricius, 1775)
Dull Oakblue
(one synonym : Amblypodia pseudocentaurus Doubleday, 1847)
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

(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.

(Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

They live in a silk shelter between curled leaves of a food plant. They feed on a variety of plants, including :

  • Green Plum ( Buchanania obovata, ANACARDIACEAE ),
  • False Almond ( Terminalia catappa, COMBRETACEAE ),
  • Long Flowered Mistletoe ( Dendrophthoe vitellina, LORANTHACEAE ),
  • Queens Flower ( Lagerstroemia speciosa, LYTHRACEAE )
  • Parinari ( Maranthes corymbosa, MALPIGHIACEAE ),
  • Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus, MYRTACEAE ), and
  • Carrotwood ( Cupaniopsis anacardioides, SAPINDACEAE ),

    and they are attended by the green ants :

  • Citrus Ants ( Oecophylla smaragdina, FORMICINAE ),

    and grow to a length of about 2.5 cms.

    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    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.

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

    The adult butterflies are far from dull The males are a brilliant metallic purple, and the females a brilliant blue.

    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    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.

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

    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.

    Female, undeside
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    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.

    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The species is found over south-east Asia, including

  • Cambodia,
  • India,
  • Malaysia,
  • Papua, and
  • Singapore,

    as well as in Australia, where it occurs as two sub-species :

    asopus (Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914) in

  • Western Australia, and
  • Northern Territory,

    and centaurus in

  • Queensland.

    ( Australia Post, 1998)

    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 687-688.

    Johan Christian Fabricius,
    Historiae Natvralis Favtoribvs,
    Systema Entomologiae
    1775, p. 520, No. 329.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 30 August 2008, 9 October 2013)