Eirmocides helenita (Semper, [1879])
Shining Pencilled-blue
(previously known as Candalides helenita)
CANDALIDINI,   POLYOMMATINAE,   LYCAENIDAE,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Bart Hacobian, Millaa Millaa, Queensland)

This Caterpillar can be any colour from green to brown. It has serrated ridge along the back edged with red, ending with a scooped-out last segment. Typically: it tucks its head under its body.


(Photo: courtesy of Bart Hacobian, Millaa Millaa, Queensland)

The caterpillar has been found feeding on young foliage of various plants, including :

  • Pink Tamarind ( Arytera pauciflora, SAPINDACEAE ),
  • White Walnut ( Cryptocarya hypospodia, LAURACEAE ),
  • Cheese Tree ( Glochidion ferdinandi , PHYLLANTHACEAE ), 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.


    male
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The male and female adults are different. The males are greenish-blue above, with a narrow black margin around each wing. The males also have a trident-shaped sex brand on each forewing. The females are dark brown above, with a big white patch on each wing.


    female
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    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 in Australia in :

  • Queensland.


    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of the Australian Museum)


    Further reading :

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

    Gorg Semper,
    Beitrag zur Rhopalocerenfauna von Australien,
    Journal des Museum Godeffroy,
    Volume 5, Heft 14 (1879) p. 162, No. 76.


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    (updated 21 March 2004, 1 November 2013, 8 July 2020, 2 March 2021)