Don Herbison-Evans (
This Caterpillar is probably named after the valiant warrior, son of Oenops, in the ancient Greek play "The Seven Against Thebes" by Aeschylus.
The eggs of this species are laid singly on the underside of a leaf of a food plant.They are barrel-shaped, and have vertical ridges. Initially they are white, later changing to bluish-green.
The Caterpillars are black with orange tubercles, and are covered in branched black spines.
The Caterpillars are inclined to hide by night, and but by day feed on the Australian native violets ( VIOLACEAE ) :
The pupa is spiky and orange. Some of the spikes are cream coloured. It hangs by a cremaster from a stem of a nearby plant.
The adult butterflies on top are orange with black spots.
Male, under surface
(Photo: courtesy of David Johnston)
The female has larger black spots, creating black areas on the wingtips. Underneath, both sexes are pale with brown markings, and the female has an area of orange and white with black markings under each fore wing. The wingspan can reach 7 cms.
as well as the subspecies inconstans (Butler, 1873) in Australia where it is considered to be an endangered species, occurring locally in
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia,
CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 550-551.
Johnston and Johnston,
Life history of Argyreus hyperbius inconstans (Australian fritillary),
Australian Entomological Magazine, Volume 11 (October 1984), pp. 4-5.
(updated 8 October 2012, 24 November 2013)