Zebra or Plumbago Blue
(previously known as Syntarucus plinius)
POLYOMMATINI, POLYOMMATINAE, LYCAENIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(Specimen: courtesy of Ken Fairey, Revesby, New South Wales)
These Caterpillars can be brown or green, and plain or with markings. They do however all have black heads which they are inclined to tuck underneath the front of the body.
The caterpillars are sometimes attended by ants. The caterpillars feed on the flowers and buds of various species of PLUMBAGINACEAE including :
The pupa has a length of about 1 cm. It is brown with a dark dorsal stripe and a dark spot at each side. It is formed in curled leaf.
Both sexes of the adult butterfly have a thin tiny tail near the tornus of each hind wing. The females are fawn with a patchy white pattern, and an arc of dark spots along the margin of each hind wing. Both underneath are fawn with a pattern of white bands, and an arc of black spots around the margin of each hind wing.
The adult male butterflies are brown with a purple sheen on top. Both sexes have a wing span of about 3 cms.
The eggs are pale green and nearly spherical. They are laid singly on the underside of a leaf or a flowerbud of a foodplant.
The species occurs as several races across south-east asia, including:
as well as subspecies pseudocassius (Murray, 1873) over much of Australia, including :
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 833-834.
Kelvyn L. Dunn,
New Distribution Records for Leptotes plinius (Fabricius, 1793)(Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) in Eastern Australia,
Volume 46, Part 6 (2016), pp. 131-134.
Johan Christian Fabricius,
Entomologia systematica emendata et aucta,
Tome 3, Part 1 (1793), p. 284, No. 92.
Frank Jordan & Helen Schwencke,
Create More Butterflies : a guide to 48 butterflies and their host-plants
Earthling Enterprises, Brisbane, 2005, p. 35.
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 228.
(updated 28 December 2009, 23 April 2018, 25 July 2020)