Tiny Grass Blue
POLYOMMATINI, POLYOMMATINAE, LYCAENIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Martin Purvis, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, New South Wales)
These Caterpillars are green with a dark red line along the back, and light and dark lines partway along the sides. The sides are hairy, and the head pale brown. The caterpillars grow to a length of about 0.7 cm. They feed inside the fruits of plants, exuding frass from the fruit entrance hole. They usually attack plants in ACANTHACEAE including
but have also been found on
The pupa is hairy and green, and has a length of about 0.7 cm. It is attached to a stem or the underside of a leaf of a foodplant.
The adult butterflies on top are dark brown fading to fawn on toward the wing bases, the males having a purple iridescence.
Underneath, both sexes are pale grey, with multiple arcs of brown dashes. The butterflies have a wing span of about 1.5 cms.
The eggs are pale green, round, and flattened, with a diameter of about 0.5 mm. They are laid singly on buds and flowers of a foodplant.
The species occurs as several races throughout tropical and subtropical Africa, Asia, and Oceania, including :
and the subspecies attenuata (Lucas, 1890) occurs along the north and east coasts of Australia, including
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia,
CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 841-842.
Johan Christian Fabricius,
Historiae Natvralis Favtoribvs,
Systema Entomologiae (1775), p. 526, No. 351.
(updated 25 December 2009, 21 September 2013, 11 August 2020)