Apaturina erminea (Cramer, [1779])
Turquoise Emperor
(formerly known as Apaturina erminia)
APATURINAE ,   NYMPHALIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Apaturina erminea
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

These Caterpillars are green, tapering at both ends, with a yellow mark about halfway along the back. The head has a pair of long soft horns. The caterpillars are thought to feed on :

  • Celtis latifolia ( ULMACEAE ).

    The adult butterfly of this species is black with an iridescent blue-green patch at the base of each forewing, and a large blue iridescent patch on each hindwing. There is a diagonal band of pale spots across each forewing and two white spots at each forewing apex. Each hindwing has an eyespot.

    Apaturina erminea
    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    The undersides are similar but with no iridescence. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 7 cms.

    Apaturina erminea
    Guinea Bissau
    1984

    The butterflies have been observed feeding on various liquids, including sap, rotting fruits, and even bird droppings.

    Apaturina erminea
    Papua New Guinea
    1966

    This species is found as various subspecies in

  • Indonesia,
  • New Guinea,
  • Solomons,

    and rarely the subspecies papuana Ribbe, 1886, is found in Australia in

  • Queensland on the Cape York Peninsula.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, p. 533.

    Pieter Cramer,
    Description de Papillons Exotiques,
    Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, vol. 3 (1779), p. 5, figs. A, B, and Plate 196, figs. A, B.

    C.G. Miller,
    A further record of 'Apaturina erminea' (Cramer) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Apaturinae) from Australia,
    Australian Entomologist,
    Volume 33, No. 2 (2006), pp. 57-58.


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    (updated 28 January 2010, 8 March 2015)