Candalides helenita (Semper, [1879])
Helenita Blue
(previously known as : Holochila helenita)
CANDALIDINI ,   POLYOMMATINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
( donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


male
(Picture: courtesy of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences)

This Caterpillar ca be any colour from green to brown. It has ridge along the back with a dark brown knob, and has a pale brown head. It has been found feeding on young foliage of various plants, including :

  • Arytera pauciflora ( SAPINDACEAE ),
  • White Walnut ( Cryptocarya hypospodia, LAURACEAE ),
  • Cheese Tree ( Glochidion ferdinandi , EUPHORBIACEAE ), and
  • Flame tree ( Brachychiton acerifolium, STERCULIACEAE ).

    The pupa is brown and has flanges on the abdomen. It is usually formed in a curled leaf at the foot of a foodplant.

    The male and female adults are different. The males are blue above, with a narrow black margin around each wing. The males also have a white trident-shaped sex brand on each forewing. The females are dark brown above with a big white patch on each wing. Underneath, the sexes are similar : white with a few dark dots around the hindwing margins. The butterflies have a wing span of about 3 cms.

    The eggs are rough, round, flattened, and white. They are laid singly on young shoots of a foodplant.

    The species occurs as several subspecies, including :

  • dimorpha (Röber, 1886) on New Guinea,

    and in Australia :

  • helenita along the north east coast of Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby, Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 755-756.


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    (updated 21 March 2004, 1 November 2013)