Jalmenus lithochroa Waterhouse, 1903
Lithochroa Blue
ZESIINI ,   THECLINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Jalmenus lithochroa
(Photo: courtesy of Robert Fisher, Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc.)

These Caterpillars are greenish-brown with a dark dorsal line and a black head, thorax, and anal plate. The body has lines of tubercles bearing black hairs along the back and white hairs along the sides. The Caterpillars are often attended by various species of ants from the subfamily DOLICHODERINAE, including :

  • large purple meat ants ( Iridomyrmex purpureus ), and
  • large green meat ants ( Iridomyrmex viridiaeneus ).

    The young Caterpillars feed nocturnally, hiding under twigs during the day. Later instars feed openly by day. The Caterpillars feed on the foliage and flower buds of various Wattles ( MIMOSACEAE ) including :

  • Golden Wattle ( Acacia pycnantha ), and
  • Bramble Wattle ( Acacia victoriae ).

    Jalmenus lithochroa
    (Photo: courtesy of Robert Fisher, Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc.)

    The adult butterflies on top are dark brown with a metallic coloured patch in the middle of each wing. In the males, the patches are green, and in the females they are blue. The trailing edge of each hind wing has a thin tail. Beside each tail are two orange and black eyespots.

    Underneath: the butterflies are fawn with a number of arcs of fawn and white spots. The hind wings each have two black and orange eyespots by the tail. The butterflies have a wing span of about 3 cms.

    The eggs are pale green and round and flattened. They are laid in clusters near the base of foodplant.

    The species occurs in

  • South Australia only in a small area around Adelaide .


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 717-718.


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    (updated 24 March 2010, 21 September 2013)