(one synonym : Ialmenus aeneus Tepper, 1882)
ZESIINI, THECLINAE, LYCAENIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)
These Caterpillars are green mottled with brown, with a broad dark dorsal band, and black and white diagonal lines on each segment. The caterpillars have a 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 in the debris at the base of the foodplant. The pupa is fawn with dark brown markings. 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. 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)