Hypochrysops halyaetus Hewitson, 1874
Western Jewel
(one THECLINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


female
(Picture: courtesy of The Insect Company)

These Caterpillars are attended by and live in the nests of ant species including:

  • Crematogaster frivola ( MYRMICINAE ), and
  • Papyrius nitidus ( DOLICHODERINAE ).

    The caterpillars feed on :

  • Daphne Pea ( Daviesia daphnoides, FABACEAE ),
  • Marno ( Daviesia divaricata, FABACEAE ),
  • Green Stinkwood ( Jacksonia sternbergiana, FABACEAE ), and
  • White Stemmed Wattle ( Acacia xanthina, MIMOSACEAE ).

    The pupae are brown and mottled, with two black projections. The pupae have a length of about 1 cm. They are formed in the ant nest.


    male
    (Picture: courtesy of The Insect Company)

    The adult male and female butterflies are different. On top, the males are an iridescent greenish blue. The females are an iridescent purple. Both have chequered black and white margins and an orange border to each hindwing.


    (Photo: courtesy of Dr. Daniel King)

    Underneath: they are dark yellow with iridescent green spots outlined in black. The butterflies have a wing span of about 3 cms.


    male underside
    (Picture: courtesy of The Insect Company)

    The eggs are white, round and flattened, with a diameter of about 1 mm. They are laid in clusters on a foodplant.

    The species is found in

  • the south of Western Australia.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 677-678.

    William Chapman Hewitson,
    Descriptions of New Species of Lycaenidae from his own Collection,
    Transactions of the Entomological Society of London,
    1874, Part 3, pp. 350-351.


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    (updated 2 January 2004, 11 November 2013)