Cethosia cydippe (Linnaeus, 1763)
Red Lacewing
HELICONIINAE ,   NYMPHALIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Cethosia cydippe
(Photo: courtesy of Garry Sankowsky, Tolga, Queensland)

The Caterpillars of this species are black with yellow bands. The caterpillars are covered in black spiky hairs. The head is black with two prominent black hairs. The caterpillars feed on various Passionfruit vines ( PASSIFLORACEAE ) such as :

  • Lacewing Vine ( Adenia heterophylla ), and
  • Queensland Passionfruit ( Hollrungia aurantioides ).

    The caterpillars are gregarious, and often ringbark the stem of the shoot on which they are feeding, as well as eating the foliage.

    Cethosia cydippe
    (Specimen: courtesy Butterfly House, Coffs Harbour)

    The pupa is spiky and is pale brown with black markings and gold spots. It hangs head downward from a cremaster, and resembles a dead leaf.

    Cethosia cydippe
    (Specimen: courtesy Butterfly House, Coffs Harbour)

    The butterflies have wings that are scarlet with broad black margins. The forewing tips each have a diagonal white patch. The wingspan is about 8 cms.

    Cethosia cydippe
    mating pair
    (Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

    Underneath, the wings of the butterflies are orange, with a white patch under each forewing tip, and arcs of black outlined white spots under each wing.

    The eggs are pale yellow and laid in groups of about 50 on the stems of young shoots of a foodplant.

    Cethosia cydippe
    Australia Post, 2004
      
    Cethosia cydippe
    Australia Post, 1998

    This species occurs in

  • New Guinea,

    and the subspecies chrysippe occurs along the tropical north-east coast of Australia in

  • Queensland.

    The species is featured at the Coffs Harbour Butterfly House.

    Cethosia cydippe
    Courtesy of
    Kraft Australia
      
    Cethosia cydippe
    Vanuatu,
    10 vatu coin, 2006
      
    Cethosia cydippe
    Courtesy of
    Kraft Australia


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 539-540.

    Carl Linnaeus,
    Centuria Insectorum,
    Amoenitates Academicae,
    Volume 6 (1763), p. 409, No. 76.

    Garry Sankowsky,
    The Red Lacewing butterfly (Cethosia cydippe),
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 78 (September 2015), pp. 4-10,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.


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    (updated 4 December 2009, 18 October 2015)