(one synonym : Ialmenus aeneus Tepper, 1882)
ZESIINI, THECLINAE, LYCAENIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
caterpillar with attendant ant
(Photo: courtesy of Alice Ewing, Craigieburn, Victoria)
These Caterpillars are a variable dull green, with white diagonal lines on each segment, and white lines along the sides. The caterpillars have a dark grey thorax, and there are pairs of tubercles on the thorax and the tail.
The caterpillars are always attended by the small black ants :
The caterpillars have been known to feed on a variety of plants, such as :
The caterpillar usually pupates between leaves or in the debris at the base of the foodplant.
The pupa is fawn with dark brown speckles. It has a length of about 1 cm.
The adult male and female butterflies look very similar. On top, they are basically dark brown, with a blue iridescent sheen. The females are rather bluer, and have a more rounded margin. The trailing edge of each hindwing has a pair of short tails. Beside one tail is a small black eyespot.
Underneath: the butterflies are fawn with faint bands of white-edged darker spots running across the wings. The hindwings each have two black and orange eyespots with black marks between them. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 3 cms.
The eggs are round and flattened with a diameter of about 0.5 mm. They are pale blue and laid in clusters on a foodplant.
The species occurs across most of mainland Australia, including
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia,
CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 728-729.
William Chapman Hewitson,
Illustrations of Diurnal Lepidoptera,
London, Volume 2 (1865), p. 54, No. 4, and also Plate 24, fig. 3.
(updated 11 July 2004, 21 September 2013, 1 January 2015, 3 August 2020, 25 February 2021)