Pseudalmenus chlorinda (Blanchard, )
(one synonym : Ialmenus myrsilus)
ZESIINI , THECLINAE , LYCAENIDAE
(Photo courtesy of Merlin Crossley)
These Caterpillars are dark brown, with red, black and pale yellow markings, and a black head. They are always found in association with the venomous ants :
The Caterpillars feed on various Wattles ( MIMOSACEAE ), including :
- Silver Wattle ( Acacia dealbata ),
- Bark Wattle ( Acacia decurrens ),
- Cedar Wattle ( Acacia elata )
- Late Black Wattle ( Acacia mearnsii ),
- Blackwood, ( Acacia melanoxylon ),
- Blunt Leaf Wattle ( Acacia obtusifolia ),
- Tumut Wattle ( Acacia pravissima ),
- Sunshine Wattle ( Acacia terminalis ), and
- Golden Feather Wattle ( Acacia trachyphloia ).
The Caterpillars grow to a length of about 3 cms.
The pupa is shiny black, and develops under bark or in a crevice. It too is visited by ants. The pupal period was from January to the following December.
The male and female adults are similar, except that the wings of the female are more rounded. The fore and hind wings are black or dark brown on top, with a white temen, and an orange mark in the middle of each wing, The inner edge of the orange mark has a black border. The hind wings also have scarlet border by the tails.
The undersides are bluish grey, with each fore wing marked by a black termen, black discal spot and a black outer line. The hind wings underneath have black markings and a scarlet border. The wingspan is about 3 cms.
The eggs are pale green, round and flattened, with a diameter of about 1 mm. They are usually laid in small groups (up to five) on twigs of a young foodplat.
A number of different races of this species have been recognised, occurring in small pockets in the south east corner of Australia, from the Australian Capital Territory to Tasmania, including:
- barringtonensis in northern New South Wales,
- chloris in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales,
- zephyrus mainly in Victoria,
- fisheri in western Victoria,
- chlorinda in eastern Tasmania,
- conara in central Tasmania, and
- mysilus in south-eastern Tasmania,
although the status of some is controversial.