Ogyris ianthis Waterhouse, 1900
Golden or Sydney Azure
ARHOPALINI ,   THECLINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


Female
(Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

The Caterpillar is velvelty brown with a pale dorsal stripes, dark diagonal markings on each segment, and a pair of dark brown eversible horns on the tail. The caterpillar hides by day communally in cracks in the bark, and emerges to feed nocturnally. It feeds on various species of Mistletoe ( LORANTHACEAE ) such as :

  • Buloke Mistletoe ( Amyema linophylla ) on Casuarina,
  • Box Mistletoe ( Amyena miquelii ) on Eucalyptus,
  • Grey Mistletoe ( Amyena quandang ) on Acacia,
  • Creeping Mistletoe ( Muellerina eucalyptoides ) on Eucalyptus,
  • Long Flowered Mistletoe ( Dendrophthoe vitellina ) on Eucalyptus, and
  • Bald Mistletoe ( Dendrophthoe glabrescens ) on Eucalyptus.

    The caterpillars are usually attended by the small dark brown ants :

  • Froggatella kirbyi ( DOLICHODERINAE ).

    The caterpillar pupates under loose bark. The pupa is remarkable for making noises: making clicking sounds. The pupa has a length of about 1.5 cms,

    The adult butterflies are strongly dimorphic. On top, the male is a brilliant iridescent blue with black borders around each wing. The female is brown with a large yellow patch on each wing. Underneath, the male is brown with dark blotchy bars along the costa of each forewing, and there are arcs of diffuse dark marks on the hindwings.


    Female underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The undersides of the females are similar to their upper surfaces, with the addition of some dark bars along the costa of each forewing.

    The species occurs in

  • southern Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 702-703.

    Gustavus Athol Waterhouse,
    Descriptions of New Species of Australian Rhopalocera,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Volume 25, Part 1 (1900), p. 52-54, and also Plate 1, figs 1-4.


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    (updated 13 March 2004, 21 November 2013)