Black & White Tit
(previously known as Myrina danis)
HYPOLYCAENINI , THECLINAE , LYCAENIDAE , PAPILIONOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Mark Hopkinson)
This Caterpillar is off-white to reddish green, sometimes with red bands along the body, and is densely covered in short hairs.
It is a pest on Orchids ( ORCHIDACEAE ), feeding on the flowers of, for example, the Australian natives :
as well as exotic orchids from the genera :
The pupa is off-white, stout and flattish, held by the tail and central girdle to a stem of the foodplant. It and the caterpillar look remarkably like Orchid flower buds.
The adult butterflies have white wings with broad black margins. The margin of each hindwing has a blue edge containing black spots. Each hindwing has two tails at the tornus.
Underneath, the wings are similar, except the hindwing pale areas are yellowish. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 3 cms.
The eggs are white, spherical, and knobbly. They are typically laid singly on flower petals.
Various subspecies of this butterfly occur on
and the subspecies turneri (Waterhouse, 1903) occurs in north Queensland, including :
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 736-737.
(updated 1 September 2012, 11 November 2013)