(previously known as Lampides phaseli)
POLYOMMATINI, POLYOMMATINAE, LYCAENIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)
These Caterpillars are corrugated, and initially green. They later become brown, sometimes with dark stripes along the body.
They feed on the flowerbuds and flowers of various FABACEAE, including especially :
The caterpillars are often accompanied by small black ants. The caterpillars grow to a length of about 1 cm.
The males are deep blue on top with a black margin. Each hindwing has a series of spots along the rear margin, including a prominent black one at the tornus. They have a wingspan of about 2.5 cms.
The females are similar but are paler with a wider black margin, and are slightly larger than the males. Both sexes have a small tail on each hind wing.
Underneath, both sexes are fawn with several arcs of white dashes. Each hind wing has an orange-edged black spot near the tornus.
The eggs are round white and flattened, and typically laid on flower buds of a food plant.
The species occurs mainly in the north-east quarter of Australia, from Derby around to Port Macquarie, so including :
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 823-824.
Gervase Frederick Mathew,
Descriptions and life-histories of new species of Rhopalocera from the Western Pacific,
Transactions of the Entomological Society of London,
1889, Part 2, pp. 311-312.
(updated 22 March 2011, 19 April 2016, 24 July 2020)