Arid Bronze Azure
ARHOPALINI, THECLINAE, LYCAENIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of R.P. Field, Museums Victoria)
This Caterpillar is white with a small black head, a matching small black plate on the tail, and has black spiracles along each side. It lives in the nest of :
apparently feeding on immature ants. It grows to a length of about 2 cms.
The pupa is cream with a length of about 1.5 cms. It is formed within the host ant nest.
The male and female adults have different upper surfaces. The male is plain dark purple with pale bronze margins.
The female is similar but with a black and white bar on the costa of each forewing.
Underneath, they are both pale brown, with dark brown splotches, and with a set of black and white bars on each forewing. Both sexes have black and white chequered margins to the wings. The butterflies have a wing span of about 4 cms.
The eggs can be white, grey or brown, and covered in a sparse off-white polygonal network of ribs. The eggs are round with a diameter of about 1 mm. They are laid in groups about 40 on the base of a mallee gum tree that has a suitable ants nest in the roots.
The species is found inland in mallee scrub in
Two races have been proposed :
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia,
CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 714-715.
A new species of Ogyris Angas (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) from southern arid Australia,
Memoirs of the National Museum of Victoria,
Volume 57, Part 2 (1999) pp. 251-260
(updated 19 November 2012, 21 September 2013, 12 November 2018, 5 August 2020)