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

Zizeeria karsandra
female
(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 :

  • Green Pigweed ( Amaranthus viridis, AMARANTHACEAE ),
  • Slender Carpet Weed ( Glinus oppositifolia, AIZOACEAE ),
  • Lucerne ( Medicago sativa, FABACEAE ), and
  • Bullshead Burr ( Tribulus terrestris, ZYGOPHYLLACEAE ).

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

  • Ghost Ants ( Tapinoma melanocephalum, DOLICHODERINAE ).

    Zizeeria karsandra
    male
    (Picture: courtesy of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences)

    The adult butterflies are fawn on top, the male having a purple iridescence, and a straighter margin. The females have a blue iridescence near the bases.

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

    Underneath, both sexes are pale grey, with multiple arcs of brown dashes. The butterflies have a wing span of about 2 cms.

    Zizeeria karsandra
    egg, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Ken Walker, Brisbane, Queensland)

    The eggs are off-white, round, and flattened. They are covered in a microscopic triangular lattice of ribs. The eggs have a diameter of about 0.5 mm. They are usually laid singly on the undersides of leaves of a foodplant.

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

  • Algeria,
  • China,
  • Cyprus,
  • India,
  • Java,
  • The Philippines,

    and also much 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, 11 August 2020, 10 September 2021)