Hypochrysops epicurus Miskin, 1876
Dull Jewel
LUCIINI ,   THECLINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Hypochrysops epicurus
(Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

This Caterpillar may be green, brown, pink or grey. It has pale sides, a broad dark dorsal line containing a narrow white line, and pale patches on the thorax and abdominal segments five and six. It hides by day in crevices or a rolled leaf, and by night feeds on leaves of :

  • White Mangrove ( Avicennia marina, ACANTHACEAE ).

    Hypochrysops epicurus
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The Caterpillar is always attended by ants from the genus

  • Anonychomyrma, DOLICHODERINAE.

    Hypochrysops epicurus       Hypochrysops epicurus
    (Photos: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The pupa is brown and formed in a sheltered crevice or similar spot on the foodplant.

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

    The male and female adults are different. The male is metallic blue on top with a narrow black margin.

    Hypochrysops epicurus
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The female is brown on top with an orange suffusion.

    Hypochrysops epicurus
    male, underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    Underneath, they are fawn with rows of red dashes edged with pale metallic green. The butterflies have a wing span of about 3 cms.

    Hypochrysops epicurus
    female, underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The eggs are laid in clusters on twigs and leaf stems of a food plant. They are pale turquoise.

    Hypochrysops epicurus
    female, underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, South Stradbroke Island)

    The species occurs in

  • southern Queensland, and
  • northern New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 676-677.

    William Henry Miskin,
    Descriptions of new species of Australian diurnal Lepidoptera, Transactions of the Entomological Society of London,
    1876, pp. 455-456.


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    (updated 16 September 2010, 9 November 2013)