Hypochrysops hippuris Hewitson, 1874
Hippuris Jewel
LUCIINI ,   THECLINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Hypochrysops hippuris
(Photo: by P.S. Valentine and S.J. Johnson, courtesy of The Australian Entomologist)

These Caterpillars have scalloped edges, and are brown with a broad pale green stripe along the back containing red lumps, one in the middle of the back of each segment. The caterpillar grows to a length of about 1 cm. It feeds on the tropical rainforest Fern :

  • Pyrrosia lanceolata ( POLYPODIOPHYTA ).

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

    The wings of the adult male butterflies of this species are bright blue edged with black, with a large white streak on each forewing. Underneath, the forewings are white with a black costa and margin, and the hindwings are streaked with black and khaki. The darker regions under both fore and hind wings are streaked and spotted with metallic green.

    Hypochrysops hippuris
    male
    (Picture: courtesy of The Insect Company)

    The females are similar, but have less of a blue sheen to the upper surfaces of the forewings. The adults of both sexes have a wingspan of about 3 cms.

    Hypochrysops hippuris
    male, underside
    (Picture: courtesy of The Insect Company)

    The male butterflies are noted for appearing very lazy. They normally will choose some leaf on which to rest, and if disturbed, will fly slowly around and return to the same leaf.

    The species is found in

  • Indonesia,
  • Malaysia,
  • New Guinea,

    and the subspecies nebulosis Sands, 1986, is found in

  • Queensland on Cape York and adjacent islands.


    Further reading :

    William Chapman Hewitson,
    Descriptions of New Species of Lycaenidae from his own Collection,
    Transactions of the Entomological Society of London,
    1874, Part 3, pp. 351-352.

    S.J. Johnson and P.S. Valentine,
    Notes on the Life History of Hypochrysops hippuris nebulosis Sands (LEPIDOPTERA: LYCAENIDAE),
    The Australian Entomologist,
    Vol. 28, Pt. 1 (May 2001), pp. 13-16.


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    (updated 14 June 2008)