Deudorix diovis Hewitson, [1863]
Bright Cornelian
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

Deudorix diovis
early instar
(Photo: courtesy of Mark Hopkinson)

These Caterpillars are green or brown, with orange ends. The front end has black spots, and the head is brown. It feeds inside the large seeds in fruit on various trees, for example :

  • Blue Quandong ( Elaeocarpus angustifolius, ELAEOCARPACEAE ),
  • Mock Orange ( Pittosporum undulatum, PITTOSPORACEAE ),
  • Queensland Nut ( Macadamia tetraphylla, PROTEACEAE ),
  • Shell Vine ( Connarus conchocarpus, OXALIDACEAE ),
  • Tulipwood ( Harpullia pendula, SAPINDACEAE ).

    Deudorix diovis
    late instar
    (Photo: courtesy of Kell Nielsen, Gold Coast, Queensland)

    The caterpillar is often attended by ants, of sevral species species including:

  • Rattle Ants ( Cyrtomyrma australis, MYRMICINAE ),
  • Big-headed Ant ( Phaeidole megacephala, MYRMICINAE ), and
  • White-footed Ant ( Technomyrmex albipes, DOLICHODERINAE ).

    Deudorix diovis
    (Photo: courtesy of Kell Nielsen, Gold Coast, Queensland)

    The pupa is dark brown, and formed within the hollowed-out seed.

    Deudorix diovis
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The adults are dimorphic: the males and females being different. The females are grey with a dark leading edge to each forewing. The tops of the wings of the males are black, with a large bright orange patch on each wing.

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

    Underneath, both sexes are fawn with white wiggly lines. They both have two tails on each hind wing: a thick one and a thin one. The thick one has a black eye-spot on it ringed with orange, and there is another just beside each thin tail. Presumably, the thick tail looks like a fake head, and the thin one looks like an antenna, and with the eye-spots these are useful for confusing predators about which end of the animal is which.

    Deudorix diovis
    (Photo: courtesy of Kell Nielsen, Gold Coast, Queensland)

    The butterflies have a wingspan of about 3 cms.

    Deudorix diovis
    (Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, South Stradbroke Island, Queensland)

    The eggs are pale green, rough, round, and flattened, with a diameter of about 0.8 mm. They are laid singly on fruit of a foodplant.

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

    The species is found in

  • Papua,

    and along the east coast of Australia, including:

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.

    Deudorix diovis
    (Photo: courtesy of Kell Nielsen, Gold Coast, Queensland)

    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 741-742.

    William Chapman Hewitson,
    Illustrations of Diurnal Lepidoptera,
    London, Volume 1 (1863), p.20, No. 9, and also Plate 7, figs. 10-12.

    Johm Neilsen,
    The Bright Cornelian-Deudorix diovis: A bit of unsolved science in our own backyard,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 75 (December 2014), pp. 35-37.
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 5 October 2011, 2 November 2013, 14 February 2015, 2 August 2020)