Pale Ciliate Blue
(previously known as Dipsas lycaenoides)
LYCAENESTHINI, POLYOMMATINAE, LYCAENIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)
This Caterpillar can be any colour, from yellow through green to purple, depending on the colour of the flower buds it is eating. It often has a pale sub-dorsal bands. It has been found feeding on a the flower buds of a wide variety of Australian native and introduced plants, including :
The caterpillars are often attended by ants of a variety of species, including :
The pupa is green with a yellow line along the back. Its length is about 1 cm. It is formed typically on top a foodplant leaf, and held by the tail and a girdle.
The adult male butterflies are lilac on top, whereas the females are brown with lilac toward the base of each wing, and have a white patch in the middle of each forewing. Both sexes have a small tail at the tornus of each hindwing. Underneath, both sexes are fawn with arcs of darker markings, and an orange-edged black spot by the hindwing tail. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 2.5 cms.
The eggs are blue turning white, and are round, flattened and pitted. They are laid singly on flower buds or young shoots of a foodplant.
Various subspecies are found in
The subspecies godeffroyi (Semper, ) is found in Australia in
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 752-753.
Baron Cajetan von Felder,
Lepidopterorum Amboienensium species novae diagnosibus,
Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Classe,
Volume 40, Series 11 (1860), p. 454, No. 21.
(updated 28 September 2010, 7 October 2013, 20 May 2015, 1 July 2020)