butterflies

Portrait of Patience

A couple of days ago, Bryan supplied us a grand photo of the underwing of the Common Imperial Blue Butterfly (  https://kingparrotcreekenvironmentgroup.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/so-whats-bugging-you/ ). I had no hesitation in setting Bryan the task of obtaining a photo of the same butterfly with open wings. A difficult task as they open their wings for a portion of a second to flash the blue sheen within.

A man of patience, Bryan has produced this great portrait to match his earlier effort. About the size of a ten cent piece I’m sure you will agree the C.I.B. is one of Victoria’s prettiest butterflies.

Well done Bryan-and if anyone has interesting observations/photos from the Flowerdale environment that they would like to share, please send them in by using the “Leave a Reply” box at the end of this post.

common-imperial-bluecommon-imperial-blue-2

So, what’s bugging you?

Bryan and Kay Milner have become very keen observers of “bugs” in Flowerdale. Their latest curiosity was photographed on Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) branches, the “bugs” on the left are pupae of the Common Imperial Blue Butterfly (Jalmenus evagoras). The adult stage is in the picture on the right. Note the tails on the lower wings.

Also evident in these pictures are black ants (Iridomyrmex sp.), particularly in attendance of the pupae. A special relationship exists between the ant and this butterfly. The caterpillars/pupae exude a sweet honeydew that the ants like. In return, the ants protect the caterpillars/pupae – and believe me, these tiny ants have a very annoying bite! This relationship is called myrmecophilous or an ant-liking symbiotic relationship.

It is possible the butterfly is hanging around the pupae to mate with any female that emerges.

For more information on Victorian butterflies click here