LYCAENIDAE in Australia
Blues, Hairstreaks, & Coppers
Don Herbison-Evans,
Stella Crossley








The common names of the families are derived generally from the adults not the Caterpillars. "Blue" and "Copper" refer to the predominant colours of the wings of the adults of various members of this family.

The butterflies of LYCAENIDAE generally lay their eggs singly on the undersides of young leaves of the foodplants. The eggs are usually spherical and cream coloured.

Most of the Caterpillars of this family are small, as are the adults. The Caterpillars also have an unusual shape and posture. Their head is often held under the body, which is flattened and broad, superficially resembling a wood louse or slater. They are often covered with secondary hairs (setae) of diverse shapes, such as branched, clubbed, or stellate. The bodies of many species also bear median and dorsolateral organs, typically on the seventh segment. These secrete a honey-like liquid, which often attracts ants. The continual presence of the ants probably deters parasitic wasps and flies from preying on the Caterpillars. This topic is the subject of current research.

Caterpillar of Daemel's Blue (Jalmanus daemeli) with attendant ant.

The pupae are usually secured by hooks beneath the rear abdominal segments to a pad of silk and by a central girdle of silk. However, in some species the pupae lie free in the soil, and hooks and girdle are absent.

The 146 Australian species of LYCAENIDAE are:

Acrodipsas arcana : Black-veined Ant-blue
Acrodipsas aurata : Golden Ant-blue
Acrodipsas brisbanensis : Bronze Ant-blue
Acrodipsas cuprea : Copper Ant-blue
Acrodipsas decima : Northern Ant-blue
Acrodipsas hirtipes : Black Ant-blue
Acrodipsas illidgei : Mangrove Ant-blue
Acrodipsas melania : Grey Ant-blue
Acrodipsas mortoni : Brown Ant-blue
Acrodipsas myrmecophila : Small Ant-blue

Anthene lycaenoides : Pale Ciliate-blue
Anthene seltuttus : Dark Ciliate-blue

Arhopala centaurus : Dull Oak-blue
Arhopala eupolis : Purple Oak-blue
Arhopala madytus : Bright Oak-blue
Arhopala micale : Shining Oak-blue
Arhopala philander : Dark Oak-blue
Arhopala wildei : White Oak-blue

Bindahara phocides : Sword-tailed Flash

Candalides heathi : Rayed Blue
Candalides noelkeri : Golden-rayed Blue
Candalides xanthospilos : Yellow-spotted Blue

Catochrysops amasea : Cobalt Pea-blue
Catochrysops panormus : Pale Pea-blue

Catopyrops ancyra : Papuan Line-blue
Catopyrops florinda : Speckled Line-blue

Cupido lacturnus : Orange-tipped Pea-blue

Cyprotides cyprotus : Copper Pencil-blue

Danis danis : Large Green-banded Blue

Deudorix democles : White-spotted Flash
Deudorix diovis : Bright Cornelian
Deudorix epijarbas : Dark Cornelian
Deudorix epirus : Orange-lobed Flash
Deudorix smilis : Princess Flash

Eirmocides absimilis : Common Pencil-blue
Eirmocides consimilis : Dark Pencil-blue
Eirmocides helenita : Shining Pencil-blue
Eirmocides margarita : Trident Pencil-blue

Erina acasta : Blotched Dusky-blue
Erina delospila : Spotted Dusky-blue
Erina erinus : Small Dusky-blue
Erina geminus : Twin Dusky-blue
Erina hyacinthinus : Varied Dusky-blue

Erysichton lineatus : Hairy Line-blue

Euchrysops cnejus : Spotted Pea-blue

Famegana alsulus : Black-spotted Grass-blue

Freyeria putli : Jewelled Grass-blue

Hypochrysops apelles : Copper Jewel
Hypochrysops apollo : Apollo Jewel
Hypochrysops byzos : Yellow Jewel
Hypochrysops chrysargyrus : King Jewel
Hypochrysops cleon : Splendid Jewel
Hypochrysops cyane : Cyane Jewel
Hypochrysops delicia : Moonlight Jewel
Hypochrysops digglesii : Silky Jewel
Hypochrysops elgneri : Amethyst Jewel
Hypochrysops epicurus : Mangrove Jewel
Hypochrysops halyaetus : Western Jewel
Hypochrysops hippuris : Paradise Jewel
Hypochrysops ignita : Fiery Jewel
Hypochrysops miskini : Coral Jewel
Hypochrysops narcissus : Narcissus Jewel
Hypochrysops piceata : Bulloak Jewel
Hypochrysops polycletus : Royal Jewel
Hypochrysops pythias : Peacock Jewel
Hypochrysops theon : Green-banded Jewel

Hypolycaena danis : Orchid Flash
Hypolycaena phorbas : Black-spotted Flash

Ionolyce helicon : Bronze Line-blue

Jalmenus aridus : Inland Hairstreak
Jalmenus clementi : Turquoise Hairstreak
Jalmenus daemeli : Emerald Hairstreak
Jalmenus eubulus : Pale Imperial Hairstreak
Jalmenus evagoras : Imperial Hairstreak
Jalmenus eichhorni : Northern Hairstreak
Jalmenus icilius : Amethyst Hairstreak
Jalmenus ictinus : Stencilled Hairstreak
Jalmenus inous : Varied Hairstreak
Jalmenus lithochroa : Waterhouse's Hairstreak
Jalmenus pseudictinus : Macqueen's Hairstreak

Jameela palmyra : Marbled Line-blue

Jamides aleuas : Bright Cerulean
Jamides amarauge : Shining Cerulean
Jamides bochus : King Cerulean
Jamides cyta : Pale Cerulean
Jamides phaseli : Purple Cerulean
Jamides nemophila : Papuan Cerulean

Lampides boeticus : Long-tailed Pea Blue

Leptotes plinius : Plumbago Blue

Liphyra brassolis : Moth Butterfly

Lucia limbaria : Chequered Copper

Megisba strongyle : Small Pied-blue

Nacaduba berenice : Large Purple Line-blue
Nacaduba biocellata : Two-spotted Line-blue
Nacaduba calauria : Violet Line-blue
Nacaduba cyanea : Green-Banded Line-Blue
Nacaduba kurava : White-banded Line-blue
Nacaduba pactolus : Bold Line-blue

Neolucia agricola : Fringed Heath-blue
Neolucia hobartensis : Montane Heath-blue
Neolucia mathewi : Dull Heath-blue

Neopithecops lucifer : Devil's Blue

Nesolycaena albosericea : Satin Opal
Nesolycaena caesia : Kimberley Spotted Opal
Nesolycaena urumelia : Spotted Opal

  • Nothodanis schaeffera : Dark Green-banded Blue

    Ogyris abrota : Dark Purple Azure
    Ogyris aenone : Saphire Azure
    Ogyris amaryllis : Satin Azure
    Ogyris barnardi : Bright Purple Azure
    Ogyris genoveva : Southern Purple Azure
    Ogyris halmaturia : Eastern Bronze Azure
    Ogyris ianthis : Golden Azure
    Ogyris idmo : Large Bronze Azure
    Ogyris iphis : Orange-tipped Azure
    Ogyris olane : Broad-margined Azure
    Ogyris oroetes : Silky Azure
    Ogyris otanes : Small Bronze Azure
    Ogyris subterrestris : Arid Bronze Azure
    Ogyris zosine : Northern Purple Azure

    Paralucia aurifera : Bright Copper
    Paralucia pyrodiscus : Fiery Copper
    Paralucia spinifera : Purple Copper

    Petrelaea tombugensis : Mauve Line-blue

    Philiris azula : Azure Moonbeam
    Philiris diana : Large Moonbeam
    Philiris fulgens : Bicolour Moonbeam
    Philiris innotata : Purple Moonbeam
    Philiris lucina : Queensland Moonbeam
    Philiris nitens : Blue Moonbeam
    Philiris papuana : Papuan Moonbeam
    Philiris sappheira : Sapphire Moonbeam
    Philiris ziska : White-margined Moonbeam

    Pithecops dionisius : Pied Blue

    Praetaxila segecia : Australian Harlequin

    Prosotas dubiosa : Purple Line-blue
    Prosotas felderi : Short-tailed Line-blue
    Prosotas gracilis: Gracile Line-blue
    Prosotas nora : Long-tailed Line-blue

    Pseudalmenus chlorinda : Silky Hairstreak

    Pseudodipsas cephenes : Bright Forest-blue
    Pseudodipsas eone : Dark Forest-blue

    Psychonotis caelius : Small Green-banded Blue

    Rapala varuna : Indigo Flash

    Sahulana scintillata : Glistening Line-blue

    Strymon bazochii : Lantana Scrub Hairstreak

    Theclinesthes albocinctus : Bitter-bush Blue
    Theclinesthes hesperia : Western Bitter-bush Blue
    Theclinesthes miskini : Wattle Blue
    Theclinesthes onycha : Cycad Blue
    Theclinesthes serpentatus : Saltbush Blue
    Theclinesthes sulpitius : Samphire Blue

    Udara cardia : Delicate Blue

    Zizeeria karsandra : Spotted Grass-blue

    Zizina otis : Common Grass-blue

    Zizula hylax : Dainty Grass-blue

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 22 May 2010, 28 December 2023)