Doleschallia bisaltide (Cramer, 1777)
Australian Leafwing
NYMPHALINAE ,   NYMPHALIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Doleschallia bisaltide

The Caterpillars of this species feed on various species from the family ACANTHACEAE, including the Australian native plants :

  • Chinese Violet ( Asystasia gangetica ),
  • Pastel Flower ( Pseuderanthemum variabile ), and
  • Christmas Pride ( Ruellia species ),

    as well as the introduced species :

  • Caricature Plant ( Graptophyllum pictum ),
  • Shooting Star ( Pseuderanthemum bicolor ), and
  • Bedding Conehead ( Strobilanthes isophyllus ).

    The Caterpillar is black with cream spots and blue and red markings. It is covered sparsely in branched black spines, and has a pair of hairy horns on its head. The Caterpillar feeds nocturnally, hiding by day in debris on the ground by its foodplant.

    Doleschallia bisaltide
    (Photo: courtesy of Mark Hopkinson)

    The pupa is smooth and brown, with a curvy black line along each side, and a few yellow spots . It hangs by a silk cremaster from the foodplant.

    Doleschallia bisaltide
    (Photo: courtesy of Paul Ament, Sunshine Coast, Queensland)

    The adult butterflies have wings shaped so that the resting butterfly (with the wings closed over its back) looks like a leaf. There is a small tail to the hind wings. The upper surfaces of the wings are orange with a broad dark area around the wingtips.

    Doleschallia bisaltide
    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, South Stradbroke Island, Queensland)

    The undersides purplish-brown with a vein-like mark running across both the fore and hind wings.

    Doleschallia bisaltide
    Solomon Islands 1982

    The eggs are pale yellow and spherical, and are laid in small clusters on young growth of a foodplant.

    Doleschallia bisaltide

    The species is found across south-east Asia including :

  • India,
  • Malaysia,
  • Solomon Islands,
  • Thailand,

    and the subspecies australis C. & R. Felder, [1867], occurs in:

  • Queensland.

    Doleschallia bisaltide
    (Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, South Stradbroke Island, Queensland)


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 563-564.

    Pieter Cramer,
    Description de Papillons Exotiques,
    Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 2 (1777), p. 9, figs. C, D, and Plate 102, figs. C, D.

    Ross Kendall,
    Images of Butterfly Larvae,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 55 (December 2009), p. 32,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.


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    (updated 21 February 2011, 8 March 2015)