Junonia orithya (Linnaeus, 1758)
Blue Argus , Blue Pansy
(previously known as Precis orithya)
NYMPHALINAE ,   NYMPHALIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Junonia orithya
(Photo: courtesy of Frank Jordan, Queensland)

The Caterpillars of this species are black with yellow dots, an orange metathorax, and an orange nose. They are are covered in branched hairs. They have been found feeding on various plants from three families including :

  • Snapdragons ( Antirrhinum majus, PLANTAGINACEAE ),
  • Hilo Princess ( Angelonia salicariaefolia, SCROPHULARIACEAE ), and
  • Clock Vine ( Thunbergia alata, ACANTHACEAE ).

    When not feeding, the Caterpillar rests hidden at the base of the foodplant.

    Junonia orithya
    (Photo: courtesy of Frank Jordan, Queensland)

    The pupa is spiky, and is dark brown with pale markings. It hangs by a silk cremaster on or near the foodplant.

    Junonia orithya
    (Photo: courtesy of Trevor Jinks, North Burnett, Queensland)

    The adult butterflies have black forewings with white marks, and blue hind wings.

    Junonia orithya
    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Nick Monaghan, Cooroy, Queensland)

    Underneath, they have a brown pattern. Each wing has two eyespots on both the upper and lower surfaces. The wingspan is about 4 cms.

    Junonia orithya
    mating pair
    (Photo: courtesy of Trevor Jinks, North Burnett, Queensland)

    Various races of this species are found from Africa to the Philippines, including :

  • India,
  • Madagascar,
  • Malaysia,
  • Swaziland,
  • Taiwan, and
  • Thailand,

    as well as albicincta Butler, 1875, in Australia in

  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.

    Junonia orithya
    Hong Kong, 1979
    Junonia orithya

    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 573-574.

    Frank Jordan,
    Blue Argus (Junonia orithya albicincta)(Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae),
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 81 (June 2016), pp. 1, 4-6,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    Carl Linnaeus,
    Insecta Lepidoptera,
    Systema Naturae,
    Volume 1, Edition 10 (1760), Class 5, Part 3, p. 473, No. 94.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 227.


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    (updated 23 March 2011, 23 June 2016)