Zizeeria karsandra (Moore, 1865)
Dark Grass Blue
(one synonym : Lampides neis Walker, 1870)
POLYOMMATINI ,   POLYOMMATINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

These Caterpillars are green and hairy. They feed on the flowers, shoots, and fruits of various plants, including :

  • Argentina Amaranth ( Amaranthus deflexus, AMARANTHACEAE ), and
  • Green Pigweed ( Amaranthus viridis, AMARANTHACEAE ),
  • Lotus Sweetjuice ( Glinus lotoides, AIZOACEAE ),
  • Slender Carpet Weed ( Glinus oppositifolia, AIZOACEAE ),
  • Yellow Sweetclover ( Melilotus indica, FABACEAE ),
  • Lucerne ( Medicago sativa, FABACEAE ),
  • Trencilla ( Zornia diphylla, FABACEAE ),
  • Nahu ( Tribulus cistoides, ZYGOPHYLLACEAE ), and
  • Bullshead Burr ( Tribulus terrestris, ZYGOPHYLLACEAE ).

    The Caterpillars are usually attended by some ants of various species, including

  • Ghost Ants ( Tapinoma melanocephalum, DOLICHODERINAE ).


    (Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, South Stradbroke Island, Queensland)

    The adult butterflies are fawn on top, the male having a purple iridescence. Underneath, both sexes are pale grey, with multiple arcs of brown dashes. The butterflies have a wing span of about 2 cms.

    The eggs are pale green, round, and flattened. They are usually laid singly on the undersides of leaves of a foodplant.

    The species occurs from the Mediterranean to south-east Asia, including :

  • Cyprus,
  • India,
  • Malaysia,
  • Thailand,
  • The Philippines,

    and also the north and east of Australia, including

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 835-836.

    Frederic Moore,
    On the Lepidopterous Insects of Bengal (continued),
    Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London,
    1865, Part2, p. 505, No. 106, and also Plate 31, fig. 7.


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    (updated 16 September 2010, 24 November 2013)