Nacaduba kurava (Moore, [1858])
White Line Blue
POLYOMMATINI ,   POLYOMMATINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

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

These Caterpillars are pale yellowish-green and knobbly, although the colour appears to vary according to the colour of the food being eaten. They feed on the flowers and shoots of various plants including various plants from PRIMULACEAE :

  • Muttonwood ( Rapanea variabilis ),
  • River Mangrove ( Aegiceras corniculatum ),
  • Queen Vine ( Maesa dependens ),
  • Curvy Viranga ( Embelia curvinervia ),
  • Marlberry ( Ardisia japonica ),

    as well as

  • Sleepy Morning ( Waltheria indica, MALVACEAE ), and
  • Carrotwood ( Cupaniopsis anarcardioides, SAPINDACEAE ).

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

    The caterpillars are often attended by ants. The caterpillars grow to a length of about 1 cm.

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

    The pupa is brown with dark spots. It has a length of about 1 cm. It is formed in some sheltered crevice or curled dead leaf.

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

    The adult male butterflies are purple on top, but the females are white with a blue sheen and a broad black costa and margin.

    Nacaduba kurava
    (Photo: courtesy of Martin Purvis, Cairns, Queensland)

    Both sexes of the adult butterfliy have a thin tail at the tornus of each hind wing. Underneath, both sexes are pale grey, with a white patch under each wing, and multiple arcs of white dashes, and with a black spot beside each tail. The butterflies have a wing span of about 2.5 cms.

    Nacaduba kurava
    male and female upper surfaces of Nacaduba kurava sericina
    (Photos: courtesy of Yusuke Takanami & Yasuo Seki)

    The eggs are laid in ones or twos on young shoots or flowers of a foodplant. The eggs are white, rough, round, and flattened, with a diameter of abour 0.5 mm.

    Nacaduba kurava
    female laying eggs
    (Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, South Stradbroke Island, Queensland)

    The species occurs as many races across south-east Asia, including

  • China,
  • India,
  • Philippines,
  • Thailand,

    and in Australia as two races:

  • parma Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914, in Queensland, and
  • felsina Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914, in the Northern Territory.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 784-786.

    Todd Burrows,
    Life History notes on the White-banded Line-blue Nacaduba kurava (Moore, 1858) Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 59 (December 2010), pp 20-22,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    Frederic Moore,
    Papiliones,
    in Horsfield & Moore:
    A Catalogue of the Lepidopterous Insects in the Museum of the Hon. East-India Company,
    Volume 1 (1858), p. 22, No. 10.

    Frederic Moore,
    Lycaenidae,
    Lepidoptera of Ceylon,
    Volume 1 (1880), p. 89.

    C.E. Meyer,
    Notes on the Life History of Nacaduba kurava felsina Waterhouse and Lyell (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae),
    The Australian Entomologist,
    Volume 23, Part 2 (September 1996), pp. 73-74.


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    (updated 24 November 2010, 17 November 2013, 28 January 2014, 3 April 2015)