Brown Soldier or Chocolate Argus
(one synonym is Apatura tragia Hübner, )
NYMPHALINAE, NYMPHALIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)
These Caterpillars are black except for the head and the last abdominal segment, 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 :
The pupa is knobbly and is mottled brown in colour. It hangs head down usually on a blade of grass near the foodplant.
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.
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:
and as the subspecies zelima (Fabricius, 1775) in Australia in:
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 576-577.
Frank Jordan & Helen Schwencke,
Create More Butterflies : a guide to 48 butterflies and their host-plants
Earthling Enterprises, Brisbane, 2005, pp. 12, 59.
Museum Siae Riae Mitis Ludovicae Ulricae Reginae,
1764, p. 279, No. 97.
(updated 3 January 2010, 9 December 2013, 23 June 2020)