Hypochrysops piceata Kerr, Macqueen & Sands, 1969
Bull Oak Jewel
LUCIINI ,   THECLINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


female
(Picture: courtesy of The Insect Company)

These Caterpillars live only one one species of tree :

  • Bulloak ( Allocasuarina leuhmannii, CASUARINACAE ).

    They are always found in association with the ants

  • Anonychomyrma itinerans ( DOLICHODERINAE ).

    The Caterpillars shelter by day in old borer tunnels, and emerge at night to feed on the leaves of the tree.


    male
    (Picture: courtesy of The Insect Company)

    The adult is an iridescent bluish-purple in colour with broad black wing margins. The undersurfaces of the wings are creamy fawn, with various black spots and arcs of orange dashes edged in black and metallic green. The wingspan is about 2.5 cms.


    female underside
    (Picture: courtesy of The Insect Company)

    The species occurs only in

  • Queensland around Millmeran and Leyburn.

    The removal of the trees from this area in order to promote human agriculture and settlement has made this species very rare and severely endangered. The species is listed as endangered.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 674-675.

    Peter Hendry,
    Insect Gall formation on Bulloak (Allocasuarina luehmannii),
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 61 (June 2011), pp. 17-18,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    J.F.R. Kerr, Jack Macqueen & Donald Peter Andrew Sands,
    A new species of Hypochrysops (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) from south Queensland,
    Journal of the Australian Entomological Society,
    Volume 8 (1969), p. 117, and also Plate 1, fig. 1.

    John Moss,
    New Site for Rare Bulloak Jewel, Hypochrysops piceata,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 75 (December 2014), pp. 37-38.
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    Warwick Daily News (Queensland),
    Tuesday 11 September 2001.


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    (updated 4 June 2008, 23 February 2014)