ARHOPALINI, THECLINAE, LYCAENIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
This species is presumably named after the Oroetes, Persian Govenor of Sardis, referred to by Herodotus as the murderer of Polycrates, around 500 BC.
The Caterpillar is grey, furry and flat. It feeds on various species of Mistletoe (LORANTHACEAE) including :
which are a parasitic on:
The early instars feed by day, but later instars feed nocturnally, sheltering by day under loose bark or in ground debris. The Caterpillars are usually attended by various species of ants from the subfamilies :
The pupa is brown with dark markings, and has a length of about 1.3 cms. Pupation typically occurs in situations like the larval shelter.
On top, the adults are a metallic blue, with the males tending towards lilac, and the females having black margins.
Underneath: the wings are a blotchy fawn, and the fore wings each have a series of black and white stripes under the leading edge.
The adult butterflies have a wingspan of 3 to 4 cms.
The species occurs over much of mainland Australia as two races :
The eggs are brown or grey, and dome-shaped, each covered with about 50 dimples of various sizes. The eggs have a diameter of about 0.8 mm. They are usually laid singly on leaves of foodplants.
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia,
CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 695-696.
William Chapman Hewitson,
Specimen of a Catalogue of Lycaenidae in the British Museum,
1862, p. 3, No. 12, and also Plate 1, figs. 12-13.
(updated 18 June 2008, 20 September 2013, 2 August 2020, 10 September 2021)