Euploea algea (Godart, 1819)
Long-Branded Blue Crow
(previously known as Danais algea)
DANAINAE ,   NYMPHALIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of L.C. Goh, Malaysia)

These caterpillars are rusty brown underneath and have black and white bands on top. They have several pairs of soft tentacles: three pairs at the front, and pairs at the rear of the body, all of which are quite harmless. The foodplants of the caterpillars have not yet been observed in Australia, but in New Guinea the Caterpillars feed on :

  • Figs ( Ficus species, MORACEAE ),
  • Black Creeper ( Ichnocarpus frutescens, APOCYNACEAE ), and
  • Swallowwort ( Cynanchum species, ASCLEPIADACEAE ).

    The pupa is silver with brown markings. It often is formed hanging from a cremaster under a leaf of the foodplant


    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The adult butterflies are brownish black with a blue sheen, with white spots at the wingtips of the forewings with blue margins. The wings have other white spots scattered over the surfaces. The undersides are similar, but have reduced size spots. The adult butterflies have a wing span around 7 cms.


    underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    Various subspecies are found across south-east Asia, including :

  • eleutho (Godart, 1819) in Guam,
  • deione Westwood, 1848, in India,
  • fruhstorferi Röber, 1897, in Indonesia,
  • menetriesii C. & R. Felder, 1860, in the Thailand, and

    and amycus Miskin, 1890, in Australia in

  • Queensland on Cape York.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, p. 608.

    Jean Baptiste Godart,
    Histoire Naturelle Entomologie,
    in Latreille & Godart :
    Encyclopédie Méthodique,
    Volume 9, Part 1 (1819), p. 173, No. 8, and also pp. 178-179, No. 8.


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    (updated 15 September 2008, 2 December 2013, 14 November 2014)