General Description

Above: metallic greenish blue with black margins to wings and two orange spots near tail of hindwing. Below: yellow-buff coloured with black markings and orange spots to bottom of hindwing. Antennae clubbed. Hindwings with tails. Wingspan up to 4 cm.

Biology

Ants tend the young caterpillars and protect them from predators and parasites. In return, the ants collect sweet secretions from the caterpillars. The caterpillars feed on young wattle trees, particularly Black Wattle Acacia mearnsii, Silver Wattle A. dealbata and Blackwood A. malanoxylon. The caterpillars turn into pupae (cocoons) on a communal web and the butterflies emerge from November to April.

Distribution

Eastern mainland Australia.

Habitat

Edge of forests and along roadsides, where wattle trees grow.

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