Ogyris iphis Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914
Orange-tipped Azure
ARHOPALINI ,   THECLINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Ogyris iphis
(Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

These Caterpillars are brown with dark bands along the body, and diagonal cream lines on each side of the top of each segment. The caterpillars feed on Mistletoe ( LORANTHACEAE ), including :

  • Gum Mistletoe ( Amyema bifurcata ),
  • Box Mistletoe ( Amyena miquelii ),
  • Grey Mistletoe ( Amyena quandang ),
  • Long Flowered Mistletoe ( Dendrophthoe vitellina ), and
  • Bald Mistletoe ( Dendrophthoe glabrescens ).

    Ogyris iphis
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The caterpillars feed nocturnally, hiding by day under loose bark They are attended by the small dark brown ants :

  • Common Froglet Ant ( Froggatella kirbyi, DOLICHODERINAE).

    Ogyris iphis       Ogyris iphis
    (Photos: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The pupa is brown with dark markings. It has a length of about 1.5 cms. It is formed under loose bark or a similar spot. It is unusual in that it sometimes makes clicking sounds.

    Ogyris iphis      Ogyris iphis
    female
    (Photos: courtesy of The Insect Company)

    The butterflies are pale metallic blue on the upper surfaces with a narrow black edge to the costa and margin of each forewing. The female has an orange mark in each black forewing apex. The hindwings have a short broad tail. Underneath, the wings are brown with black markings edged in metallic green. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 3 cms.

    Ogyris iphis
    male
    (Photos: courtesy of The Insect Company)

    The species is found as two subspecies :

  • iphis in Queensland, and
  • doddi Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914, in the Northern Territory.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 703-704.

    Gustavus Athol Waterhouse & George Lyell,
    Ogyrinae,
    The Butterflies of Australia,
    Angus & Robertson, 1914, Sydney, p. 117-118, No. 168, and also Figs. 394, 394a, as well as 838, 839, 844, 845.


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    (updated 28 January 2010, 3 November 2013)