Hypochrysops polycletus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Royal Jewel
(one synonym : Nacaduba obscura Grose-Smith, 1894)
LUCIINI ,   THECLINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Hypochrysops polycletus
(Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

These Caterpillars are pale greenish brown and hairy when small, but later become green with a white dorsal band.

Hypochrysops polycletus
(Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

They feed on :

  • Timor Liana ( Rhyssopterys timorensis, MALPIGHIACEAE ).

    Sometimes the Caterpillars are attended by ants, but not always.

    Hypochrysops polycletus       Hypochrysops polycletus
    pupa
    (Photos: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The pupa is formed naked, and is held by the tail and the centre by a silk girdle onto the foodplant.

    Hypochrysops polycletus
    Female
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The female adults are black with a blue iridescence around the bases of the wings, and with a large white patch in the centre of each forewing.

    Hypochrysops polycletus
    Male
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The male adults are an iridescent blue on top, shading to black at the margins. Both sexes have the veins at the margins of the hindwings extended.

    Hypochrysops polycletus
    Male, underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    Underneath, they are brown with rows of rust-coloured spots outlined in black and iridescent green.

    Hypochrysops polycletus
    Female, underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The females also have a large white patch under the centre of each forewing. The butterflies have a wing span of about 3 cms.

    The eggs of this species are pale green and dome shaped with ridges. They are laid singly on leaves, stems and buds of the foodplant.

    The species occurs as several subspecies in

  • India,
  • Indonesian,
  • New Guinea,

    and in Australia in

  • Queensland as the subspecies rovena Druce, 1891, along the tropical north-east coast.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 660-661.

    Carl Linnaeus,
    Insecta Lepidoptera,
    Systema Naturae,
    Volume 1, Edition 10 (1760), Class 5, Part 3, p. 485, No. 166.


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    (updated 9 June 2008, 11 November 2013)