Jalmenus inous Hewitson, [1865]
Varied Hairstreak
(one synonym : Ialmenus menecles Doubleday, 1847)
ZESIINI ,   THECLINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

The Caterpillar is flat and brown with light and dark dorsal stripes. It has tubercles on the thorax and last abdominal segent each with a bunch of short white hairs. It rest by day on the stems of foodplants just below ground level, and climbs up to feed nocturnally . Its foodplants include :

  • Sandplain Poison ( Gastrolobium microcarpum, FABACEAE ),
  • Marno ( Daviesia divaricata, FABACEAE ),
  • Spiny Bitter Pea ( Daviesia benthamii, FABACEAE ),
  • Beach Acacia ( Acacia cyanophylla = rostellifera, MIMOSACEAE ), and
  • Golden Wreath Wattle ( Acacia saligna, MIMOSACEAE ),

    and is always to be attended by numbers of small black ants :

  • Iridomyrmex conifer ( DOLICHODERINAE ), or
  • Iridomyrmex rufoniger ( DOLICHODERINAE ).

    The pupa is attached to the foodplant stem, again just below ground level.


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

    The adult is metallic blue in colour with wide black wing margins. The veins on the hind wings are extended.


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

    The undersurfaces of the wings are brown, marked with arcs of darker brown spots, and a subterminal arc of pale chevrons. There are orange-edged black spots under the rear margin of each hind wing. The wingspan is about 3 cms.

    The species occurs in Western Australia as two subspecies :

  • inous near the coast, and
  • notocrucifer Johnson, Hay & Bollam, 1992, inland.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 730-731.

    William Chapman Hewitson,
    Lycaenidae,
    Illustrations of Diurnal Lepidoptera,
    London, Volume 2 (1865), p. 54, No. 3, and also Plate 24, figs. 1,2.

    Bob Miller,
    Description of the egg of Jalmenus inous inous (Hewitson) (lepidoptera: lycaenidae),
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 52 (March 2009), p. 18,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.


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    (updated 24 June 2002, 15 November 2013)