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Delicate Butterfly On A Delicate Leaf

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Description

Species Name: Common Eggfly

Species Latin Name: Hypolimnas bolina

Also Known As: Great Eggfly, Common Eggfly, and in New Zealand it is known as the Blue Moon Butterfly

Native To: New Zealand, Madagascar, Asia, Australia

Photo Taken At: N/A


Wingspan: 7cm-8.5cm (2.8 – 3.3 inches)

Egg Description: Pale, glassy green with vertical ridges with exception to the top


Sub Species:

Hypolimnas bolina Bolina (Located in Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands, Western Bornea, Sulawesi, Salayar, Kabaena, Galla, Banggai, Sula, Maluku, New Guinea, Australia, and New Caledonia)

Hypolimnas bolina Constans (Located in Tasmania)

Hypolimnas bolina Enganica (Located in Engano Island)

Hypolimnas bolina Gigas (Located in Sangihe)

Hypolimnas bolina Incommoda

Hypolimnas bolina Inconstans (Located in Navigator Islands)

Hypolimnas bolina Jacintha

Hypolimnas bolina Jaluita

Hypolimnas bolina Kezia (Located in Formosa)

Hypolimnas bolina Kraimoku (Located in Lifu)

Hypolimnas bolina Labuana (Located in Labuan)

Hypolimnas bolina Lisianassa (Moluccas)

Hypolimnas bolina Listeri (Christmas Island)

Hypolimnas bolina Montrouzieri (Located in Woodlark, Fergusson, Trobriand islands)

Hypolimnas bolina Naresii

Hypolimnas bolina Nerina (Located in Timor – Kai, Aru, Waigeu, West Irian – Papua, Northen Australia – Eastern Victoria, Bismark Archipelago, Solomon Islands, New Zealand)

Hypolimnas bolina Pallescens

Hypolimnas bolina Philippensis Located in the Philippines)

Hypolimnas bolina Pulchra (Located in Caledonia)

Hypolimnas bolina Rarik (Located in Lifu)


Description:

The males and the females are sexually dimorphic in that the male has only one form of appearance where as the female can come in a variety of different appearances.


As mentioned before the male of the species only has one common appearance and is referred to as being monomorphic. When viewed from above the male will have jet black wings save for the three large white dots on each wings. Their wings will also feature white trimmings on the edges of their wings.


The females of this species can vary in terms of appearance when it comes to the colouration of their wings. These changes are primarily seen on the dorsal/top down portion of their wings where there is a variety of different expressions of the colours white, orange and blue markings. The colouration of their wings are generally darker if the butterflies develop in cooler environments.


It is believed that the female has evolved to express various colourations of other butterfly species as a form of mimicry. As an example the female butterfly further to the west where this species can be found the female will be monomorphic instead of polymorphic. It is believed that this is the case as it will mimic the species of butterfly of the oriental and Australasian butterfly genus Euploea which are poisonous to eat (Species also commonly known as Crow butterflies, Reference link: Euploea - Wikipedia)


Feeding and Breeding Plants:

The butterflies have been noted to breed on the below plants:


Arrowleaf Sida

Also known as: Rhombus-leaved Sida, Paddy's Lucerne, Jelly leaf, Cuban Jute, Queensland-hemp, and Indian Hemp.

Medically known as: Kurumthotti in Ayurvdic medicine.

Latin Name: Sida rhombifolia

Reference link: Sida rhombifolia - Wikipedia


Elatostema cuneatum

Latin Name: Elatostemma cuneatum

Reference Links:

Elatostema cuneatum PFAF Plant Database

Elatostema cuneatum - efloraofindia (google.com)


Common Purslane

Also Known As: Little Hogweed or Pursley

Latin Name: Portulaca oleracea

Reference Link: Portulaca oleracea - Wikipedia


Hawaii Woodnettle

Also known as: Hen's Nette

Latin Name: Laportea interrupta

Alternate latin names: Fleurya interrupta & Urtica interrupta

Reference Links:

Laportea interrupta (lucidcentral.org)

Laportea interrupta - Useful Tropical Plants (theferns.info)

Fleurya interrupta: info from PIER (PIER species info) (hear.org)


Five Stamen Burrbark

Latin Name: Triumfetta pentandra

Reference Links:

Triumfetta pentandra - Useful Tropical Plants (theferns.info)

Species profile—Triumfetta pentandra | Environment, land and water | Queensland Government (des.qld.gov.au)


Chinese Violet

Latin Name: Asystasia

Reference Links:

Asystasia - Wikipedia

Asystasia travancorica | GardensOnline

Asystasia, Chinese violet | Central QLD Coast Landcare Network (cqclandcarenetwork.org.au)


Pastel Flower:

Also known as: Love Flower, Night andAfternoon

Latin name: Pseuderanthemum variabile

Reference Link: Pseuderanthemum variabile - Wikipedia


Sweet Potato:

Latin Name: Ipomoea batatas

Reference Link: Sweet potato - Wikipedia


Lesser Joyweed:

Latin Name: Alternanthera denticulata

Reference Link: Alternanthera denticulata - Wikipedia


Nodeweed:

Latin Weed: Synedrella nodiflora

Reference link: Synedrella - Wikipedia


During the larvae/caterpillar stage they will tend to feed on the following plants:

False Stinger:

Also known as: Native Mulberry, White Mulberry, White Nettle, Amahatyan, and Ghasooso

Latin Name: Pipturus argenteus

Reference Link: Pipturus argenteus - Wikipedia


Common Nettle:

Also known as: Burn Nettle, Stinging Nettle

Latin Name: Urtica dioica

Reference Link: Urtica dioica - Wikipedia


Mallow:

Latin Name: Malva

Reference Link: Malva - Wikipedia


In New Zealand these butterflies it has been noted that these butterflies will feed on the below plants:


Shrub Verbenas:

Also known as: Lantanas

Latin Name: Lantana

Reference Link: Lantana - Wikipedia


Spider Flowers:

Latin Name: Grevillea

Reference Link: Grevillea - Wikipedia


Hebe:

Latin Name: Hebe

Reference Link: Hebe (plant) - Wikipedia


New York Aster:

Latin Name: Symphyotrichum novi-belgii

Reference Link: Symphyotrichum novi-belgii - Wikipedia


Pepino Dulce:

Also known as: Pepino, Pepino Melon, Melon Pear, Tree Melon

Latin Name: Solanum muricatum

Reference Link: Solanum muricatum - Wikipedia


Behaviour:

The males are noted to be quite territorial, they will return to a specific location in order to defend it from other males for up to 54 days. The males will generally prefer territories where it is easier to spot female butterflies of the same species. When protecting their territory the male will generally rest somewhere keeping watch roughly 2 meters (6.6 feet) above ground.


Unlike other species of butterflies the female will generally only lay about one or two legs at any given time. These eggs will usually be laid on the underside of the chosen host plant. The female is known to stay around after laying her eggs to defend her eggs from potential threats such as ants.


The eggs will hatch after three days and the caterpillars will then proceed to eat the leaves of the plant they hatch on. Shortly after the caterpillars will disperse and become quite mobile in search of more food as they mature. It is noted that the caterpillars will generally not pupate on the plant they originally hatched on.


Further Reading (general information):

Wikipedia: Hypolimnas bolina - Wikipedia

Aus E Made: Common Eggfly Butterfly – Ausemade

Brisbane Insects: Common Eggfly Butterfly, Varied Eggfly - Hypolimnas bolina (brisbaneinsects.com)

Lepidoptera: Hypolimnas bolina (butterflyhouse.com.au)

Toohey Forest Environmental Education Centre: Common Eggfly (eq.edu.au)


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