Candalides margarita (Semper, [1879])
Margarita's Blue
(previously known as Holochila margarita)
CANDALIDINI ,   POLYOMMATINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Candalides margarita
(Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, South Stradbroke Island, Queensland)

These Caterpillars can be green or pink or brown, sometimes with brown dorsal markings. They have a prominent dorsal ridge and a hump at the thorax. They feed on the young shoots and flowers of various species of Mistletoe ( LORANTHACEAE ), for example :

  • Erect Mistletoe ( Amyema congener ),
  • Box Mistletoe ( Amyema miquelii ),
  • Common Mistletoe ( Amyema conspicua ),
  • Brush Mistletoe ( Amylotheca dictyophleba ),
  • Shiny-leaved Mistletoe ( Benthamina alyxifolia ),
  • Curved Mistletoe ( Dendrophthoe curvata ),
  • Long Flowered Mistletoe ( Dendrophthoe vitellina ), and
  • Coast Mistletoe ( Muellerina celastroides ).

    They attended by the small black ants :

  • Technomyrmex sophiae ( DOLICHODERINAE ).

    Candalides margarita
    (Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, South Stradbroke Island, Queensland)

    The pupa is smooth and brown with a white dorsal line, and has curled flanges on the abdomen. It is attached to a foodplant leaf by anal hooks and a girdle.

    Candalides margarita
    Female
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The female butterflies of this species are black with a large white patch on each wing, and a faint metallic blue suffusion toward the base. The males are plain dull blue.

    Candalides margarita
    (Photo: courtesy of Nick Monaghan, Lake MacDonald, Queensland)

    Underneath, both sexes are white with arcs of brown dashes and black dots. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 3 cms.

    Candalides margarita
    Female, underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    There species exists the race maria Bethune-Baker, 1908, on

  • New Guinea,

    and margarita in Australia along the coast of

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 756-757.

    Gorg Semper,
    Beitrag zur Rhopalocerenfauna von Australien,
    Journal des Museum Godeffroy,
    Volume 5, Heft 14 (1879) pp. 161-162, No. 75.


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    (updated 22 March 2011, 1 November 2013)