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 margins are broader for the males. The margins of the hindwings of both sexes each have a marginal row of black-centred blue spots. Each hindwing has two tails at the tornus.
Underneath, the wings are similar, except all four wings have a marginal row of black-centred blue spots. 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 Australia in
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 736-737.
Baron Cajetan Felder & Rudolf Felder,
Zoologischer Theil: Lepidoptera,
Reise der Osterreichischen Fregatte Novara,
Band 2, Abtheilung 2, Part 2 (1865), pp. 240-241, and also Plate 30, figs. 12, 13.
(updated 1 September 2012, 7 November 2022)