ARHOPALINI, THECLINAE, LYCAENIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(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 :
The caterpillars feed nocturnally, hiding by day under loose bark They are attended by the small dark brown ants :
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.
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.
The species is found as two subspecies :
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 703-704.
Gustavus Athol Waterhouse & George Lyell,
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.
(updated 28 January 2010, 3 November 2013)