Samphire or Saltpan Blue
(previously known as Lycaena sulpitius)
POLYOMMATINI, POLYOMMATINAE, LYCAENIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, South Stradbroke Island, Queensland)
The Caterpillar of this species is green with a hairy head and tail. It has a brown head and a purple dorsal line. The caterpillar and the pupa are often attended by ants. The caterpillar feeds on various types of Saltbush ( CHENOPODIACEAE ), such as:
The pupae are brown and attached to a stem of a foodplant.
The adult butterflies are brown with a bluish sheen.
The undersides are brown with wiggly white lines. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 2 cms.
The eggs are white round, flattened, and have a pitted surface. They are laid singly on young shoots of a foodplant.
The species occurs along the east coast of Australia including :
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 814-815.
Russel Denton & John T. Moss,
Saltbush Blue and Samphire Blue butterflies at Boondall Wetlands,
Issue 52 (March 2009), pp. 8-9,
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.
William Henry Miskin,
Descriptions of hitherto undescribed Australian Lepidoptera (Rhopalocera), principally Lycaenidae,
Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
Series 2, Volume 5, Part 1 (1890), pp. 37-38.
(updated 19 November 2012, 24 November 2013)