Pseudodipsas eone (C. Felder & R. Felder, 1860)
Dark Forest-blue
(previously known as Thecla eone)
Don Herbison-Evans,
Stella Crossley

Pseudodipsas eone
Early instar
(Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

This Caterpillar is green or grey or brown, with a black head, thorax, and tail. There are obscure diagonal bands on the side of each segment. The caterpillar has been found feeding gregariously on :

  • Witches Tongues ( Clerodendrum costatum, LAMIACEAE ),
  • Buku ( Faradaya splendida, LAMIACEAE ),
  • Firewheel Tree ( Stenocarpus sinuatus, PROTEACEAE ), and
  • Barbed Wire Bush ( Smilax australis , SMILACACEAE ).

    Pseudodipsas eone
    Late instar
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    It feeds from the underside of a leaf, eating irregular holes in it. When not feeding, it hides in a curled leaf or debris at the base of the foodplant. The Caterpillar is usually attended by small black ants :

  • Anonychomyrma gilberti ( DOLICHODERINAE ).

    Pseudodipsas eone
    Pseudodipsas eone
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The pupa is pale brown mottled with darker brown. It is slender and has a length of about 1 cm. It is usually formed in a curled leaf or concealed in the debris at the foot of the foodplant.

    (Photo: courtesy of Mark Hopkinson)

    The female adults are brown on top with two black spots and a yellow patch at the tornus of each hind wing.

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

    Males are dark brown with a blue sheen, and with a pale arc along the edge of each hindwing.

    Pseudodipsas eone
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    Underneath, the sexes are similar. They are white with irregular arcs of fawn dashes. The hindwings each have one large and one small black spot edged in orange by the tornus. The butterflies have a wing span of about 2 cms.

    Female, underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The eggs are shaped like a mandarin orange, and are laid singly on young shoots of a foodplant. They have a diameter of about 0.6 mm.

    Pseudodipsas eone
    Male, underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The species occurs as various races in

  • Papua and adjacent islands,

    and the subspecies iole Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914, occurs along the north coast of

  • Queensland

    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 648-649.

    Baron Cajetan Felder & Rudolf Felder,
    Lepidopterologische Fragmente,
    Wiener Entomologische Monatschrift,
    Band 4, Part 8 (1860), p. 243, No. 89.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 1 October 2010, 28 December 2023)