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

Neolucia hobartensis
(Photo: courtesy of Ngaruru, Middlesex, 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.


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

    The adults are brown on top with chequered margins. Underneath, they are pale brown.

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

    The underside of each hindwing has a white and dark brown scalloped pattern. The butterflies have a wingspan 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, 28 July 2020)