Junonia hedonia (Linnaeus, 1764)
Brown Soldier
(one synonym is Apatura tragia Hübner, [1819])
NYMPHALINAE ,   NYMPHALIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

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

These Caterpillars are black except for the prothorax and head which are orange. The bodies are cylindrical with a series of branched hairs along the body. The caterpillars feed on various plants from the family ACANTHACEAE, including :

  • Karamat ( Hygrophila salicifolia ),
  • Red Ivy ( Hemigraphis alternata ), and
  • Fever Root ( Ruellia tuberosa ).

    The pupa is knobbly and is mottled brown in colour. It hangs head down usually on a blade of grass near the foodplant.

    Junonia hedonia
    (Specimen: courtesy of Coffs Harbour Butterfly House)

    The wings of the adult butterflies are brown with a pattern of darker zig-zag lines and circles. There are indistinct white spots by the wing tips of the fore wings.

    Junonia hedonia
    (Specimen: courtesy of Coffs Harbour Butterfly House)

    Underneath, They are are brown with fainter markings, except for a row of white spots on each hindwing. The butterflies have a wing span up to 6 cms.

    The species is found as various subspecies across south-east Asia, including:

  • Indonesia,
  • Japan,
  • Papua New Guinea, and
  • Singapore

    and as the subspecies zelima (Fabricius, 1775) in

  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 576-577.

    Carl Linnaeus,
    Museum Siae Riae Mitis Ludovicae Ulricae Reginae,
    1764, p. 279, No. 97.


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    (updated 3 January 2010, 9 December 2013)