Ionolyce helicon (C. Felder, 1860)
Bronze Lineblue
(previously known as Nacaduba helicon)
POLYOMMATINI ,   POLYOMMATINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley & Robert Miller

Ionolyce helicon
(Photo: copyright Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

These caterpillars are green with pale green markings, and have a set of brown chevrons along the back.

Ionolyce helicon
(Photo: copyright Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

The caterpillars have been found feeding on :

  • the flower buds of Titberry ( Allophylus cobbe, SAPINDACEAE ), and
  • Matchbox bean ( Entada phaseoloides, MIMOSACEAE ).

    Ionolyce helicon
    (Photo: copyright Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    In captivity the larvae moved to the bottom of the container and pupated on the leaf litter. The pupae are mottled brown, with a row of dark markings along the back.

    Ionolyce helicon
    (Photos: copyright Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The male adult butterflies of this species on top are bronze-coloured with a purple sheen, and have a black spot by a tail at the tornus of each hindwing.

    Ionolyce helicon
    Female
    (Photo: copyright Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The females on top are dark brown with a pale mauve sheen, and have a marginal arc of white carets around each hindwing. Underneath, both sexes are fawn with arcs of white markings, and have a black spot by each hindwing tail.

    Ionolyce helicon
    egg
    (Photo: copyright Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The eggs are laid singly. They are like white spheres with the top pushed in, and covered in tiny short spikes.

    The species is found in south-east Asia, including

  • India,
  • Papua,
  • Philippines,

    and the subspecies hyllus (Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914) is found in Austtralia in

  • Queensland on Cape York Peninsula.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 803-804.

    Baron Cajetan von Felder,
    Lepidopterorum Amboienensium species novae diagnosibus,
    Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften,
    Volume 40, Series 11 (1860), p. 457, No. 35.


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    (updated 16 June 2008, 11 November 2013)