Neolucia hobartensis (Miskin, 1890)
Mountain Blue
(previously known as Lycaena hobartensis)
POLYOMMATINI ,   POLYOMMATINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Neolucia hobartensis
(Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, taken in Tasmania)

This Caterpillar is green with a faint brown dorsal stripe, and yellow lateral stripes. It is covered in short sparse hairs. It has been found feeding on the flowers and flowerbuds of:

  • Drumstick Heath ( Epacris breviflora ),
  • Swamp Heath ( Epacris paludosa ), and
  • Snow Heath ( Epacris petrophylla ).

    all of ERICACEAE. The caterpillar grows to a length of about 1 cm.


    (Photo: courtesy of E.D. Edwards, from "Butterflies of Australia" by M.F. Braby)

    The pupa is green with a dark dorsal line and black spots, and is often attached to a twig. Its length is about 0.6 cm.


    (Picture: courtesy of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences)

    The adults are brown on top with chequered margins. Underneath, they are pale brown. The underside of each hind wing has af white and dark brown scalloped pattern. The butterflies have a wing span up to 2 cms.

    The eggs have three lobes and are pale green. They are laid singly in the leaf axils of young shoots of a foodplant.

    The species lives in the mountains of south-east Australia as two recognised races:

  • hobartensis in Victoria and Tasmania, and
  • monticola Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914, in New South Wales.
  • .


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 820-821.

    William Henry Miskin,
    Descriptions of hitherto undescribed Australian Lepidoptera (Rhopalocera), principally Lycaenidae,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Series 2, Volume 5, Part 1 (1890), pp. 38-39.


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    (updated 21 February 2011, 18 November 2013)