Erysichton palmyra (C. Felder 1860)
Marbled Blue
POLYOMMATINI ,   POLYOMMATINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


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

This Caterpillar is smooth, and is green with a rusty suffusion. The caterpillar feeds on on various species of Mistletoe ( LORANTHACEAE ) including :

  • Sheoak Mistletoe ( Amyema cambagei ), and
  • Long Flowered Mistletoe ( Dendrophthoe vitellina ).


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

    The pupa is pale brown with a lot of dark brown spots. The head and tail are black, and there is a black belt around the middle.


    female
    (Picture: courtesy of CSIRO Entomology)

    The adult male butterflies of this species are an iridescent blue on top of both fore and hindwings, yet the females have white forewings with black tips and blue bases, and have blue hindwings with an arc of brown spots. They both have a thin tail at the tornus of each hindwing. Underneath, they are pale brown with dark brown markings, and the females have a white patch under the middle of each forewing. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 2 cms.


    female laying eggs
    (Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, South Stradbroke Island, Queensland)

    Various subspecies occur in in the south-west Pacific, including

  • New Guinea, and
  • the Solomons.

    The subspecies tasmanicus (Miskin, 1890) occurs along the coast of

  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    female
    (Picture: courtesy of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences)


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby, Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 790-791.

    Baron Cajetan von Felder,
    Untersuchung meherer Sandproben verschiedener Kustenpunkte,
    Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften,
    Volume 40, Series 11 (1860), pp. 458-459, No. 40.


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    (updated 24 May 2011)