LYCAENIDAE in Australia
Blues, Hairstreaks, & Coppers
Don Herbison-Evans,
Stella Crossley







The common names of the families are derived generally from the adults not the Caterpillars. "Blue" and "Copper" refer to the predominant colours of the wings of the adults of various members of this family.

The butterflies of LYCAENIDAE generally lay their eggs singly on the undersides of young leaves of the foodplants. The eggs are usually spherical and cream coloured.

Most of the Caterpillars of this family are small, as are the adults. The Caterpillars also have an unusual shape and posture. Their head is often held under the body, which is flattened and broad, superficially resembling a wood louse or slater. They are often covered with secondary hairs (setae) of diverse shapes, such as branched, clubbed, or stellate. The bodies of many species also bear median and dorsolateral organs, typically on the seventh segment. These secrete a honey-like liquid, which often attracts ants. The continual presence of the ants probably deters parasitic wasps and flies from preying on the Caterpillars. This topic is the subject of current research.

Caterpillar of Daemel's Blue (Jalmanus daemeli) with attendant ant.

The pupae are usually secured by hooks beneath the rear abdominal segments to a pad of silk and by a central girdle of silk. However, in some species the pupae lie free in the soil, and hooks and girdle are absent.

The 141 Australian species of LYCAENIDAE are:

Acrodipsas arcana : Arcana Ant Blue
Acrodipsas aurata : Golden Ant Blue
Acrodipsas brisbanensis : Large Ant Blue
Acrodipsas cuprea : Cuprea Ant Blue

  • Acrodipsas decima : Decima Ant Blue
    Acrodipsas hirtipes : Hirtipes Ant Blue
    Acrodipsas illidgei : Illidge's Ant Blue
    Acrodipsas melania : Black Ant Blue
    Acrodipsas mortoni : Brown Ant Blue
    Acrodipsas myrmecophila : Small Ant Blue

    Anthene lycaenoides : Pale Ciliate Blue
    Anthene seltuttus : Dark Ciliate Blue

    Arhopala centaurus : Dull Oakblue
    Arhopala madytus : Bright Oakblue
    Arhopala micale : Common Oakblue
    Arhopala wildei : Small Oakblue

    Bindahara phocides : Australian Plane

    Candalides absimilis : Pencilled Blue
    Candalides acasta : Blotched Blue
    Candalides consimilis : Consimilis Blue
    Candalides cyprotus : Cyprotus Blue
    Candalides delospila : Ord River Blue
    Candalides erinus : Small Dusky Blue
    Candalides geminus : Geminus Blue
    Candalides gilberti : Gilbert's Blue
    Candalides heathi : Rayed Blue
    Candalides helenita : Helenita Blue
    Candalides hyacinthinus : Common Dusky Blue
    Candalides margarita : Margarita's Blue
    Candalides noelkeri : Golden Rayed Blue
    Candalides xanthospilos : Yellow Spot Blue

    Catochrysops amasea : Pale Blue
    Catochrysops panormus : Forget-me-not

    Catopyrops ancyra : Ancyra Blue
    Catopyrops florinda : Speckled Lineblue

    Danis danis : Large Green-banded Blue

    Deudorix democles : White-spotted Flash
    Deudorix diovis : Cornelian
    Deudorix epijarbas
    Deudorix epirus : Epirus Blue
    Deudorix smilis : Smilis Blue

    Erysichton lineata : Hairy Lineblue
    Erysichton palmyra : Marbled Blue

    Euchrysops cnejus : Cupid

    Everes lacturnus : Tailed Cupid

    Famegana alsulus : Black Spotted Grass Blue

    Freyeria putli : Grass Jewel

    Hypochrysops apelles : Copper Jewel
    Hypochrysops apollo : Apollo Jewel
    Hypochrysops byzos : Yellow Spot Jewel
    Hypochrysops cleon : Cleon Jewel
    Hypochrysops cyane : Cyane Jewel
    Hypochrysops delicia : Moonlight Jewel
    Hypochrysops digglesii : Diggle's Jewel
    Hypochrysops elgneri : Elgneri Jewel
    Hypochrysops epicurus : Dull Jewel
    Hypochrysops halyaetus : Western Jewel
    Hypochrysops hippuris : Hippuris Jewel
    Hypochrysops ignita : Fiery Jewel
    Hypochrysops miskini : Miskin's Jewel
    Hypochrysops narcissus : Narcissus Jewel
    Hypochrysops piceata : Bulloak Jewel
    Hypochrysops polycletus : Rovena Jewel
    Hypochrysops pythias : Peacock Jewel
    Hypochrysops theon : Theon Jewel

    Hypolycaena danis : Black & White Tit
    Hypolycaena phorbas : Common Tit

    Ionolyce helicon : Helicon Lineblue

    Jalmenus aridus : Desert Blue
    Jalmenus clementi : Clement's Blue
    Jalmenus daemeli : Daemel's Blue
    Jalmenus evagoras : Common Imperial Blue
    Jalmenus eichhorni : Northern Imperial Blue
    Jalmenus icilius : Icilius Blue
    Jalmenus ictinus : Ictinus Blue
    Jalmenus inous : Inous Blue
    Jalmenus lithochroa : Lithochroa Blue
    Jalmenus pseudictinus : Macqueen's Hairstreak

    Jamides aleuas : Bright Cerulean
    Jamides amarauge : Amarauge Cerulean
    Jamides cyta : Pale Cerulean
    Jamides phaseli : Dark Cerulean

    Lampides boeticus : Pea Blue

    Leptotes plinius : Zebra Blue

    Liphyra brassolis : Moth Butterfly

    Lucia limbaria : Small Copper

    Megisba strongyle : Malayan

    Nacaduba berenice : Six Lineblue
    Nacaduba biocellata : Double Spotted Lineblue
    Nacaduba cyanea : Tailed Green-Banded Blue
    Nacaduba kurava : White Line Blue

    Neolucia agricola : Fringed Blue
    Neolucia hobartensis : Mountain Blue
    Neolucia mathewi : Mathew's Blue

    Neopithecops lucifer : Quaker

    Nesolycaena albosericea : Satin Blue
    Nesolycaena caesia : Sky Blue
    Nesolycaena urumelia : Arnhemland Blue

    Ogyris abrota : Dark Purple Azure
    Ogyris aenone : Cooktown Azure
    Ogyris amaryllis : Amaryllis Azure
    Ogyris barnardi : Barnard's Azure
    Ogyris genoveva : Geneoveva Azure
    Ogyris ianthis : Sydney Azure
    Ogyris idmo : Large Brown Azure
    Ogyris iphis : Dodd's Azure
    Ogyris olane : Olane Azure
    Ogyris oroetes : Silky Azure
    Ogyris otanes : Small Brown Azure
    Ogyris subterrestris : Arid Bronze Azure
    Ogyris zosine : Purple Azure

    Paralucia aurifer : Bright Copper
    Paralucia pyrodiscus : Eltham Copper
    Paralucia spinifera : Bathurst Copper

    Petrelaea tombugensis : Ios Blue

    Philiris azula : Azula Moonbeam
    Philiris diana : Diana Moonbeam
    Philiris fulgens : Purple Moonbeam
    Philiris innotatus : Common Moonbeam
    Philiris nitens : Blue Moonbeam
    Philiris sappheira : Sapphire Moonbeam
    Philiris ziska : Ziska Moonbeam

    Pithecops dionisius : Pied Blue

    Praetaxila segecia : Australian Harlequin

    Prosotas dubiosa : Small Purple Lineblue
    Prosotas felderi : Felder's Lineblue
    Prosotas nora : Nora's Lineblue

    Pseudalmenus chlorinda : Chlorinda Hairstreak

    Pseudodipsas cephenes : Cephenes Blue
    Pseudodipsas eone : Eone Blue

    Psychonotis caelius : Small Green-banded Blue

    Rapala varuna : Indigo Flash

    Sahulana scintillata : Glistening Blue

    Strymon bazochii : Lantana Scrub Hairstreak

    Theclinesthes albocincta : Bitter-Bush Blue
    Theclinesthes hesperia : Hesperia Blue
    Theclinesthes miskini : Miskin's Blue
    Theclinesthes onycha : Cycad Blue
    Theclinesthes serpentata : Chequered Blue
    Theclinesthes sulpitius : Saltpan Blue

    Udara tenella : Australian Hedge Blue

    Zizeeria karsandra : Dark Grass Blue

    Zizina labradus : Common Grass Blue

    Zizula hylax : Tiny Grass Blue

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 22 May 2010, 16 December 2013, 26 January 2014, 23 May 2015, 7 February 2017, 15 September 2017, 2 November 2018)