Northern Imperial Blue
ZESIINI, THECLINAE, LYCAENIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Mark Hopkinson, found at Isabella Falls, Queensland)
This Caterpillar is flattened and has fleshy spiky dorsal tubercles on most segmemts, each of which bears a black hair. It is greenish with diagonal brown markings on each segment.
It feeds communally in open daylight on various Wattles (MIMOSACEAE), including :
The caterpillars are always attended by various species of black ants from the subfamily DOLICHODERINAE, including :
The pupa is brown with a length of about 1.3 cms. It is attached to a foodplant stem or leaf.
The adult is metallic green in colour with black wing margins. Each hind wing has a black tail, and is decorated with two orange spots and some thin white lines. The undersurfaces of the wings are creamy fawn, with orange subterminal bands edged in brown. There are black spots near the hindwing tornus. The wingspan is about 3 cms.
The eggs of this species are round and flattened, with a diameter of about 0.7 mm. They are white or pale green, and ridged with little spikes. The eggs are laid in rows on the stems of a foodplant.
The species is found in
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 719-720.
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 227.
Exotische Tagfalter in Systematische Reihenfolge,
in O. Staudinger & E. Schatz:
Theil 1, Part 19 (1888), p. 275.
(updated 1 October 2010, 15 November 2013)