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 catrpillar is attended by a variety of ants
The pupae are brown and attached to a stem of a foodplant.
The adult butterflies are brown with a bluish sheen, and chequered margins.
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 in Australia in :
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,
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club,
Issue 52 (March 2009), pp. 8-9.
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, 11 August 2020)