Observer

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Description

This observation features just one tree which accommodated every stage of the life-cycle of the common imperial blue or imperial hairstreak butterfly. Pic 1 shows a male butterfly resting beside a pupa. Pic 2 shows a cluster of pale blue-grey eggs with fascinating spikey outer coverings (see reference link in notes). The caterpillar in pic 3 had small horn-like tubercles along the dorsal aspect of the body. Pic 4 shows a cluster of glossy dark pupae and pic 5 shows the exuviae.
Pic 6 is that of an adult.
Every stage of this butterfly was attended by hoards of ants (Iridomyrmex ). They were running around all over the tree , clustering in large numbers around the pupae. There were ants around the eggs and caterpillar.
Another interesting feature was the fine webbing around the eggs and the pupae.
Spotted on a black wattle tree (Acacia mearnsii) near wetlands at a retarding basin.

Date & Time

  2015-03-23 01:18 PM

Location

-37.902765 , 145.308129 : 134.312 m

Near Upper Ferntree Gully VIC 3156, Australia

Discussion

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  1. David Francis  Leuba, What a wonderful natural history!

    Reply • 24 Mar 2015

    • Leuba Ridgway  Thank you David. Amazed to see them all on the one tree. They seem to love that tree !

      Reply • 30 Mar 2015




NS Observation No. 5510C507ED2A8974D3000A12
Created 2015-03-24 12:59 PM (almost 4 years ago)
Created By Leuba Ridgway
Updated 2015-03-24 01:04 PM (almost 4 years ago)
Updated By Leuba Ridgway
Edits 1
Photo Quality
Camera Date-Stamp Yes
Camera Geotag No
Permalink 5510c507ed2a8974d3000a12
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