Eltham or Fiery or Dull Copper
(one synonym : Chrysophanus aenea Miskin, 1890)
LUCIINI, THECLINAE, LYCAENIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of M. and P. Coupar, Museum Victoria)
These Caterpillars are an endangered species in some parts of Australia. They feed on the leaves of various plants from the Pittosporum family (PITTOSPORACEAE) :
They are attended by ants of the genus :
The caterpillars feed nocturnally, resting by day in the ant nest at the foot of the foodplant.
The adult butterflies upper surfaces are brown with a yellow patch on each wing. The females have more rounded wings than the males.
Underneath they are paler with dark zigzag lines. The butterflies have wingspans up to about 3 cms.
The eggs are white and cylindrical, with a pit in the top. Their height is about 1 mm. They are laid in loose clusters of one to a dozen on or near the base of a foodplant bush.
The species is common in
Two races have been recognised :
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia,
CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 642-644.
List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
Part 2 (1847), p. 57.
(updated 29 June 2012, 22 November 2013, 27 October 2020)