Ogyris zosine (Hewitson, [1853])
Northern Azure
(erroneously : Ogyris zozine)
ARHOPALINI ,   THECLINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Ogyris zosine
(Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

The eggs of this species are mandarin shaped and dirty white, laid on or near the stems of its food plant. The Caterpillar is greyish pink with a complex pattern of dark markings. It has a pair of yellowish flaps each side by the tail. It feeds on various species of Mistletoe ( LORANTHACEAE ), such as:

  • Signal Mistletoe ( Decaisnina signata ),
  • Bald Mistletoe ( Dendrophthoe glabrescens ),
  • Coast Mistletoe ( Muellerina celastroides ),
  • Pale Leaved Mistletoe ( Amyema maidenii ),
  • Box Mistletoe ( Amyena miquelii ), and
  • Grey Mistletoe ( Amyena quandang ).

    The Caterpillars are normally attended by various species of :

  • Sugar Ants ( Camponotus nigriceps and Camponotus consobrinus, FORMICINAE ).

    Ogyris zosine       Ogyris zosine
    (Photos: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The pupa is mottled brown with a length of about 2 cms.

    Ogyris zosine
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The upper surfaces of the wings of adult males are a dull metallic blue or puprle, with narrow dark brown edges.

    Ogyris zosine
    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The females are black with large areas of metallic blue, or purple, and have a white patch near each forewing tip.

    Ogyris zosine
    male, underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    Underneath, the fore wings are black with metallic blue bars.

    Ogyris zosine
    female, underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The female additionally has the white patch underneath. The hind wings underneath have a complex pattern of light and dark grey. The wingspan averages 4.5 cms.

    Ogyris zosine
    female, blue form
    (Photo: courtesy of Bob Miller and Ian Hill)

    The butterfly occurs in

  • Papua

    and in northern Australia as three races : zolivia Waterhouse, 1941, typhon Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914, and zosine in

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 708-710.

    William Chapman Hewitson,
    Ogyris,
    Illustrations of new species of exotic butterflies,
    London, Volume 1 (1853), p. 63, Nos. 3, 4, and also Plate 32, figs. 3, 4.


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    (updated 3 July 2008, 21 September 2013)