Euchrysops cnejus (Fabricius, 1798)
Cupid
(one synonym : Cupido amazara Kirby, 1871)
POLYOMMATINI ,   POLYOMMATINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
son-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Euchrysops cnejus
early instar
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

This Caterpillar is green with a purple dorsal line, and pale diagonal stripes on the side of each segment. It is hump-backed, somewhat hairy, and has a dark brown head. It is frequently attended by various species of ants.

Euchrysops cnejus
later instar
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

The Caterpillar feeds on the buds, flowers, and seed pods of various climbing FABACEAE, such as:

  • Pidgeon Peas ( Cajanus cajan ),
  • Furry Rattlepod ( Cajanus reticulatus ),
  • Siratro ( Macroptilium atropurpureum ),
  • Phasey Bean ( Macroptilium lathyroides ),
  • Beans ( Phaseolus vulgaris ),
  • Dalrymple Beans ( Vigna luteola ),
  • Cowpea ( Vigna unguiculata ), and
  • Zombi Peas ( Vigna vexillata ).

    Euchrysops cnejus
    pupa
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    The pupa is pale yellow or green, with black spots.

    Euchrysops cnejus
    male and female upper surfaces
    (Photo: courtesy of Yusuke Takanami & Yasuo Seki)

    The adult male butterflies are mauve, and the females brown suffused with mauve around the base. Both sexes have small tails on the hind wings. The males have two black spots by each tail. The females have a subterminal arc of black spots by each tail.

    Euchrysops cnejus
    (Photo: courtesy of Martin Purvis)

    The undersides of both sexes are very similar. Both are fawn with arcs of brown dots on every wing, and two black spots by the tail on each hind wing. The wingspan is about 7 cms.

    Euchrysops cnejus
    egg, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    The eggs are white and laid singly on young buds and shoots of a foodplant.

    The species occurs as several races throughout south-east Asia, including :

  • India,
  • New Guinea,
  • Philippines,
  • Singapore,
  • Sri Lanka,
  • Sumatra,
  • Thailand,

    The subspecies cnidus Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914, occurs in Australia on the tropical coasts of :

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 850-851.

    Johan Christian Fabricius,
    Supplementum Entomologia Systematica ,
    1798, p. 430, No. 100.

    Wesley Jenkinson,
    Life history notes on the Spotted Pea-blue, Euchrysops cnejus cnidus (Fabricius, 1798) Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 64 (March 2012), pp. 27-29,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.


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    (updated 25 December 2009)