Ogyris olane (Hewitson, 1862)
Dull Purple Azure
ARHOPALINI ,   THECLINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


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

The eggs of this species are dark brown and round, with a diameter just under 1 mm. They are laid in ones or twos on a foodplant.

The Caterpillar is flat and pinkish-brown with dark markings. It hides by day, and feeds nocturnally on Mistletoes ( LORANTHACEAE ) such as :

  • Box Mistletoe ( Amyena miquelii ), and
  • Drooping Mistletoe ( Amyema pendulum ),

    which are parasitic on

  • Gum ( Eucalyptus, MYRTACEAE ).

    The caterpillars are often attended by various species of ants.

    The pupa is mottled brown with a dark line along the back. Its length is about 1.5 cms. It is formed in a crevice often some distance from the foodplant. It is unusual in that it can make clicking noises.


    (Photo: courtesy of R.P. Field, Museum Victoria)

    The male and female adults are quite similar. They are purple on top with broad black wing margins.


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

    Underneath, the fore wings are dark brown, with white lines emanating from the costa. The hind wings have a complex brown pattern. The butterflies have a wing span of about 4 cms.

    Widespread but very local, adults are sighted flying around the tops of eucalypts which support their host. As with all Ogyris, the usual way to obtain adults is to collect larvae and pupae, as the adult butterflies do not feed from flowers, or descend to ground level.

    The species occurs over most of the eastern half of Australia, including

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria, and also
  • South Australia.

    Various races have been proposed :

  • ocela Waterhouse, 1934, and
  • olane,
    but more recent studies have indicated that the observed variations may be only a cline.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 696-698.

    William Chapman Hewitson,
    Specimen of a Catalogue of Lycaenidae in the British Museum,
    1862, p. 2, No. 10, and also Plate 1, figs. 10-11.


    previous
    back
    caterpillar
    Australian
    Australian Butterflies
    butterflies
    Australian
    home
    caterpillars
    Australian
    Australian Moths
    moths
    next
    next
    caterpillar

    (updated 14 July 2004, 22 November 2013)