Philiris diana Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914
Diana or Large Moonbeam
LUCIINI ,   THECLINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Philiris diana
(Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

The Caterpillars of this butterfly feed on :

  • Bollywood ( Litsea breviumbellata, LAURACEAE ).

    Philiris diana
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    Initially the caterpillars are orange, and normally rest along the orange veins on the underside of the leaves of the foodplant. Later instars are darker with green stripes, and rest on the uppersides of the leaves. They grow to a length of about 2 cms.

    Philiris diana       Philiris diana
    (Photos: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The pupa is formed on the upper surface of the leaf also, and is pale orange with brown stripes. Its length is about 1.3 cms.

    Philiris diana
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The male butterfly on top is purple with a pale patch near the middle of each forewing.

    Philiris diana
    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The female upper surface is black with a pale blue area extending from the base.

    Philiris diana
    male, underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    Underneath they are both white with black dots at the ends of some of the hindwing veins. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 3 cms.

    Philiris diana
    female, underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The eggs are laid singly on leaves of a foodplant. They are white and dome shaped, with a diameter of about 0.6 mm.

    The species is found in

  • Papua,

    and is found as two subspecies classed as endangered in Australia in Queensland:

  • papuana Wind & Clench, 1947, on Cape York, and
  • diana around Cairns.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 679-680.

    Gustavus Athol Waterhouse & George Lyell,
    The Butterflies of Australia,
    Angus & Robertson, 1914, Sydney, p. 76, No. 87, and also Fig. 183, as well as Figs. 270, 271.

    G.A. Wood,
    The early stages of Philiris fulgeus kurandae Waterhouse and Philiris diana papuana Wind and Clench (Lepidoptera:Lycaenidae),
    Australian Entomological Magazine,
    Volume 10 (1984), p. 6.


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    (updated 22 June 2008, 22 November 2013)