Philiris lucina Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914
LUCIINI,   THECLINAE,   LYCAENIDAE,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Philiris lucina
(Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

These Caterpillars are flat and green, with a cream dorsal line, cream mottling generally, and dense hairy sides.

Philiris lucina
(Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

The caterpillars have been found feeding on :

  • Little Cheese Tree ( Glochidion philippicum, PHYLLANTHACEAE ), and
  • Brown Macaranga ( Macaranga involucrata, EUPHORBIACEAE ).

    The caterpillar rests under a leaf near the base by a vein, where it is well camouflaged.

    Philiris lucina

    Philiris lucina
    pupa
    (Photos: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The pupa is green with a reddish dorsal line and brown patches. Its length is about 1 cm. It is usually attached to the underside of a leaf of its foodplant.

    Philiris lucina
    male
    (Photos: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The adult malebutterfly of this species has black forewings each with a large blue and white area in the middle The hindwings are black each with a large pale blue and white area.

    Philiris lucina
    female
    (Photos: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The females are similar to the males, but with less colour on the hindwings Both sexes are white underneath.

    The species is found in:

  • Queensland.

    Philiris lucina
    underside
    (Photos: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    This species was for many years considered to be a subspecies of Philiris nitens, until the genitalia of the two species were found to be different.


    Further reading :

    Donald Peter Andrew Sands,
    Review of Australian Philiris Röber (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae), with notes on variation and descriptions of two new subspecies from Cape York peninsula,
    Australian Entomologist,
    Volume 42, Part 4 (2015), pp. 219-252.

    Gustavus Athol Waterhouse & George Lyell,
    The Butterflies of Australia,
    Angus & Robertson, 1914, Sydney, p. 77, No. 88b.


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    (written 7 September 2021)