LUCIINI, THECLINAE, LYCAENIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)
The Caterpillars of this butterfly feed on :
Initially the caterpillars are orange, and normally rest along the orange veins on the underside of the leaves of the foodplant. Later instars are darker with green stripes, and rest on the uppersides of the leaves. The caterpillars grow to a length of about 2 cms.
(Photos: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)
The pupa is formed on the upper surface of the leaf also, and is brown with green stripes. Its length is about 1.3 cms.
The male butterfly on top is purple with a pale patch near the middle of each forewing. The hindwings are mauve, each with white stripes along the costa and hind margin.
The female adult butterfly of this species has forewings each with a black upper surface, but with a large blue and white area extending from the base. The hindwing is blue, with a black margin, and with white stripes along the costa and hind margin.
Underneath they are both white with black dots at the ends of some of the hindwing veins. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 3 cms.
The eggs are laid singly on leaves of a foodplant. They are white and dome shaped, with a diameter of about 0.6 mm.
The species is found as two subspecies
and in Australia:
This species was for many years thought to be a subspecies of Philiris diana, but recent work has shown it to be a distinct species.
Further reading :
Donald Peter Andrew Sands,
Review of Australian Philiris Röber (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae), with notes on variation and descriptions of two new subspecies from Cape York peninsula,
Volume 42, Part 4 (2015), pp. 219-252.
Robert G. Wind & Barry K. Clench,
New Indo-Australian Lycaenidae (Lepidoptera)
Bulletin of the Brooklyn Entomological Society,
Volume 42, Part 1 (1947), p. 6.
The early stages of Philiris fulgens kurandae Waterhouse and Philiris diana papuana Wind and Clench (Lepidoptera:Lycaenidae),
Australian Entomological Magazine,
Volume 10 (1984), p. 6.
(written 7 September 2021)