SOUTH AUSTRALIAN BUTTERFLIES

CATERPILLAR FOODHOST LIST

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A checklist of the larval food hosts for the butterflies to be found, or likely to be found, in South Australia.
Family Lycaenidae
(Families Hesperiidae, Papilionidae, Pieridae and Nymphalidae)


The food host list (usually a plant but sometimes an ant or another insect for this group of butterflies) is derived from all known documented records, but only those hosts known to occur within South Australia have been listed, either as indigenous natives or introduced cultivars and escapes.  Those hosts featured in bold type are those which butterfly larvae have been found to eat in South Australia.  A single *asterisk denotes the host is an overseas introduction.  Double **asterisks denote the host is an interstate introduction.  Plant identifications have been confirmed by the State Herbarium of South Australian.  Attendant ants (non-host) are also listed; those ants featured in bold type are those which butterfly larvae have been found to associate with in South Australia. All bold type ants were identified by Archie McArthur, the ant specialist at the South Australian Museum.

 

BUTTERFLY LARVAL FOOD HOST
Family LYCAENIDAE (coppers and blues)
Subfamily THECLINAE
Tribe LUCIINI
Acrodipsas brisbanensis The entire immature stage is spent in the nests of the small dark-brown byre building ant Papyrius(Iridomyrmex) sp (nitidus group).  In related species the immature stages use a small black ant Crematogaster sp, the larval stage being predacious on the immature ant stages.
Hypochrysops ignitus ignitus Numerous foodplants of a variety of families incl. Cassinia spp, Olearia axillaris (coast daisy-bush) (Asteraceae); Brachyloma daphnoides (daphne heath) (Epacridaceae); Acacia spp incl. **A. decurrens (queen wattle), A. leiophylla (smooth-leaf wattle), A. longifolia longifolia (Sydney golden wattle), A. mearnsii (black wattle), A. pycnantha (golden wattle), **A. saligna (golden-wreath wattle) (Mimosaceae); **Agonis flexuosa, Eucalyptus spp (Myrtaceae); Banksia sp, Grevillea sp (Proteaceae); Pomaderris sp (Rhamnaceae); *Prunus sp (plum), ornamental *Rosa sp, *Rubus "fruticosus" (blackberry) (Rosaceae); Camellia sp (Theaceae), Choretrum glomeratum (berry broombrush or common sour-bush), C. spicatum (spiked sour-bush), Exocarpos aphyllus (stiff cherry), E. cupressiformis (native cherry) (Santalaceae); **Alectryon(Heterodendrum) spp, **Cupaniopsis anacardioides (tuckeroo), Dodonaea spp incl. D. humilis (dwarf hop-bush), D. viscosa angustissima (attenuata) (narrow-leaf hop-bush) (Sapindaceae), Brachychiton sp (Sterculiaceae). Larvae attendant ant is Papyrius(Iridomyrmex) sp (nitidus group), a byre building small dark-brown ant with a distinctive coconut smell.
Lucia limbaria *Oxalis corniculata corniculata (yellow wood-sorrel), O. perennans (native sorrel or creeping yellow oxalis) (Oxalidaceae). Larvae attended by numerous small black ants Iridomyrmex sp (gracilis and rufoniger groups).  Life History
Paralucia aurifera Bursaria spinosa (Christmas bush) (Pittosporaceae). Larvae attended by numerous small black ants Anonychomyrma(Iridomyrmex) (nitidiceps group) and also probably Notoncus spp.
Paralucia pyrodiscus Bursaria spp incl. B. spinosa. Larvae attended by numerous small black ants Notoncus spp incl. N. capitatus, N. ectatommoides, N. gilberti.
Tribe OGYRINI (azures)
O. amaryllis species-group
Ogyris abrota Muellerina eucalyptoides (creeping mistletoe) (Loranthaceae). Larvae attended by small ants Anonychomyrma sp, Crematogaster sp, Froggattella kirbii, Rhytidoponera sp and Technomyrmex ?albipes.  In S.A. they use small, strong smelling, black ants Iridomyrmex sp.
Ogyris amaryllis meridionalis Amyema fitzgeraldii (pincushion mistletoe), A. gibberula var. gibberula (grevillea-hakea mistletoe), A. linophylla orientale (bulloak or buloke mistletoe), A. maidenii maidenii (pale-leaf mistletoe), A. melaleucae (melaleuca mistletoe), A. miquelii (box mistletoe), A. miraculosa boormanii (fleshy mistletoe), A. pendula pendula (drooping mistletoe), A. preissii (wire-leaf mistletoe), A. quandang var. quandang, A. sanguinea (bloodwood mistletoe) (Loranthaceae). Larvae attended by a few small ants incl. a dark brown and black Crematogaster sp, Crematogaster sp (laeviceps group), Anonychomyrma sp (nitidiceps group), a black Iridomyrmex sp A (rufoniger group) and in S.A. a dark brown Iridomyrmex sp, Podomyrma sp, also Camponotus sp.
Ogyris amaryllis meridionalis (coastal form) Amyema melaleucae, A. miquelii, A. miraculosa boormanii, A. pendula pendula, A. preissii (Loranthaceae). Larvae attended by a few small ants incl. a dark brown and black Crematogaster sp and small black or orange and black Iridomyrmex spp.
Ogyris barnardi delphis Amyema miraculosa (fleshy mistletoe), A. quandang var. quandang (grey mistletoe) (Loranthaceae). Larvae attended by a few small dark brown and black ants Crematogaster sp.
Ogyris olane Amyema miquelii, A. pendula pendula.   Larvae are attended by a few ants incl. a small Anonychomyrma sp, small Crematogaster sp, small dark brown, black or orange and black Iridomyrmex spp, a small black Ochetellus sp, Podomyrma adelaidae a brown ant with two yellow spots on the abdomen, the sugar-ants Camponotus consobrinus and C. terebrans, rarely Papyrius sp (nitidus group) and also Froggattella kirbii and Monomorium sp.
Ogyris oroetes apiculata Amyema miquelii, A. pendula.  Larvae attended by a few ants incl. small black or dark brown and black Crematogaster spp, Doleromyrma sp.,  Iridomyrmex spp, and rarely Rhytidoponera metallica.  In the eastern states small Anonychomyrma sp (nitidiceps group), Froggattella kirbii, Iridomyrmex sp (rufoniger group), Ochetellus glaber, Meranoplus sp (diversus group), Podomyrma sp, Tetraponera sp, and sometimes Camponotus sp have been recorded.
O. genoveva-O. idmo species-group
Ogyris genoveva Amyema miquelii, A. miraculosa, A. pendula pendula, Muellerina eucalyptoides.  Larvae attended by numerous large sugar-ants Camponotus consobrinus and C. nigriceps.
Ogyris halmaturia Entire larval stage spent in sugar-ant nests of Camponotus terebrans, mainly within pristine banksia-titree heath and low mallee, open habitat with sandy soil. Larvae believed to be either predatory on the immature stages of these ants, or perhaps are fed by the ants at least when the larvae are very immature.  Life History
Ogyris subterrestris subterrestris Entire larval stage spent in the nests of the sugar-ant Camponotus terebrans, in sandy soil at the base of trees and shrubs. So far only recorded from the Murray mallee, but may extend inland to ephemeral riverine habitat. Larvae believed to be either predatory on the immature stages of these ants, or perhaps are fed by the ants at least when the larvae are very immature.    Life History
Ogyris otanes otanes Choretrum glomeratum (berry broombush or common sour-bush), C. spicatum (spiked sour-bush), Leptomeria preissiana (currant bush) (Santalaceae).  Larvae attended by numerous sand dwelling sugar-ants Camponotus terebransLife History
Ogyris zosine Amyema maidenii, A. miquelii, A. pendula, A. quandang, A. sanguinea and possibly A. preissii.  Larvae attended by numerous large sugar-ants incl. Camponotus sp (claripes group), C. nigriceps and C. spenseri.
Tribe ZESIINI
Jalmenus icilius Acacia spp incl. A. anceps (Port Lincoln wattle), A. aneura aneura (mulga), A. calamifolia (wallowa), **A. dealbata (silver wattle), A. mearnsii (black wattle), A. melanoxylon (blackwood), A. pendula, A. pycnantha, A. retinodes (Wirilda), **A. saligna (golden-wreath wattle), A. tetragonophylla (dead finish), A. victoriae victoriae (elegant or bramble wattle) (Mimosaceae); Daviesia benthamii (Fabaceae); Senna spp incl. S. artemisioides coriacea (punty bush or desert cassia), S.a. filifolia, S.a. petiolaris (glabrous form) (Caesalpiniaceae).  Larvae attended usually by numerous small black or dark brown and black ants Iridomyrmex spp (rufoniger group in N.S.W.), rarely by a large black Dolichoderus sp (scabridus group).
Jalmenus ictinus Acacia spp incl. A. pendula (Boree or Weeping Myall).  Larvae attended by large meat ants Iridomyrmex purpureus.
Jalmenus lithochroa   bulan.gif (503 bytes) Acacia pycnantha, A. victoriae victoriae. Larvae near Adelaide attended by numerous small black ants Iridomyrmex sp, in the Flinders Range by the large meat ants Iridomyrmex purpureus and I. viridiaeneus.
Subfamily POLYOMMATINAE
Tribe CANDALIDINI
Candalides heathi heathi Prostanthera spp (mintbushes), Westringia spp incl. **W. fruticosa (coastal or native rosemary), W. rigida (western rosemary or stiff westringia) (Lamiaceae); Eremophila spp incl. E. deserti (turkey-bush), E. gilesii (desert fuchsia or hairy-fruit emubush), E. longifolia (weeping emubush or berrigan), Myoporum acuminatum (western boobialla) (Myoporaceae); Plantago spp incl. *P. lanceolata (ribgrass or ribwort) (Plantaginaceae); Derwentia(Parahebe) spp incl. D. derwentiana (Derwent speedwell), Stemodia florulenta (bluerod) (Scrophulariaceae); Brachychiton spp (kurrajongs) (Sterculiaceae), Pimelea spp (Thymelaeaceae).  Larvae usually attended by a few small black ants Iridomyrmex sp, and in the Far North sometimes by the large black meat-ant Iridomyrmex viridiaeneus.
Candalides noelkeri Myoporum parvifolium (creeping boobialla) (Myoporaceae).  Not reported to be attended by ants.
Cyprotides cyprotus cyprotus In the eastern states on Conospermum spp (smoke-bushes), Grevillea spp (Proteaceae), and Jacksonia scoparia (dogwood) (Fabaceae); in S.A. found on G. huegelii (comb grevillea), G. pterosperma (desert grevillea) and G. sarissa ssp umbellifera (desert comb-grevillea); also on Hakea spp incl. H. leucoptera (needle bush) and probably H. mitchellii (desert hakea) (Proteaceae). Sometimes attended by a few small black or dark brown and black ants Iridomyrmex spp. Life History
Erina acasta Cassytha glabella f. dispar (slender dodder-laurel), C. peninsularis var. flindersii (Flinders Range dodder-laurel), C. peninsularis var. peninsularis (streaked or peninsula dodder-laurel), C. pubescens (downy or rusty dodder-laurel) (Lauraceae). Larvae sometimes attended by a few small ants.
Erina hyacinthina form josephina Cassytha pubescens. Larvae attended by a few small black ants Iridomyrmex sp.
Erina hyacinthina form simplexa Cassytha melantha (coarse dodder-laurel or devil's twine), C. peninsularis var. peninsularis (streaked dodder-laurel), C. peninsularis var. flindersii (Lauraceae). Larvae sometimes attended by a few small brown or black ants incl. Ochetellus sp.
Tribe POLYOMMATINI
Famegana alsulus alsulus On the flowers of Fabaceae legumes incl. Galactia tenuiflora, Indigofera sp (indigo), Vigna lanceolata (maloga bean). Larvae attended by a few ants incl. Camponotus sp (extensus group), small Iridomyrmex sp, small Iridomyrmex sp (gracilis and rufoniger groups), large meat ants Iridomyrmex purpureus, Rhytidoponera metallica.
Lampides boeticus On numerous native and introduced legumes of the Fabaceae family incl. *Chamaecytisus palmensis (tree lucerne or tagasaste), *Colutea arborescens (bladder senna), Crotalaria spp incl. C. cunninghamii (birdflower rattlepod), C. eremaea eremaea downy loose-flowered rattle-pod), C. eremaea strehlowii (smooth loose-flowered rattlepod), C. novae-hollandiae (woolly rattlepod), Cullen(Psoralea) australasicum (tall scurf-pea), C. patens spreading scurf-pea), *Cytisus scoparius (English Broom), *Dipogon lignosus (lavatory creeper or dolichos pea), *Genista monspessulana (Montpellier Broom), Gompholobium ecostatum (dwarf wedge-pea), Kennedia prostrata (running postman or scarlet runner), Indigofera sp (indigo), *Lathyrus odoratus (sweet-pea), Lotus australis (austral trefoil), *Lupinus spp (lupins), *Phaseolus vulgaris (garden bean), *P. lunatus, *Pisum sativum (garden pea), Pultenaea tenuifolia (narrow-leaf bush-pea), Sesbania cannabina sesbania pea), *Sophora spp, Swainsona spp (darling or swainson peas) incl. S.(Clianthus) formosa (Sturt's desert-pea), S. greyana (darling pea), S. stipularis (orange darling pea), Templetonia retusa (cockies tongue), *Ulex europaeus (gorse), *Vicia faba (broadbean), *V. sativa (common vetch), *Virgilia oroboides (Cape virgilia), *Wisteria sinensis. Larvae sometimes attended by a few ants incl. Camponotus capito and other spp (subnitidus and tricoloratus groups), small Dolichoderus sp, Froggattella sp, Iridomyrmex sp, and very rarely the large meat ants Iridomyrmex purpureus and I. viridiaeneus.  Life History
Leptotes plinius pseudocassius On the flower buds of Plumbago spp incl. *P. auriculata (Plumbaginaceae). Larvae sometimes attended by a few small ants.
Nacaduba biocellata biocellata Acacia spp incl. A. anceps ( Port Lincoln wattle), A. aneura var. aneura (mulga), A. brachybotrya (grey mulga), A. calamifolia (wallowa), A. cyclops (western coastal wattle), A. erinacea (prickly wattle), **A. decurrens (early black wattle), A. iteaphylla (Flinders Range wattle), A. ligulata (umbrella bush or sandhill wattle), A. longifolia sophorae (coastal wattle), *A. karroo (karroo thorn), A. mearnsii (black wattle), A. melanoxylon (blackwood), A. murrayana (sandplain wattle), A. nematophylla (coast wallowa), A. oswaldii (miljee or umbrella wattle), A. papyrocarpa(sowdenii) (western myall), A. pycnantha (golden wattle), A. quornensis (Quorn wattle), A. retinodes (Wirilda), A. rigens (needle wattle), A. rupicola (rock wattle), A. salicina (native willow or coobah), **A. saligna (golden-wreath wattle), A. sclerophylla (hard-leaf wattle), A. simmonsiana, A. stenophylla (river cooba), A. tetragonophylla (dead finish), A. triquetra, A. victoriae victoriae (Mimosaceae). Larvae normally attended by a few small black ants Iridomyrmex spp and in the northern areas by also the large meat ants Iridomyrmex purpureus and I. viridiaeneus.  Life History
Neolucia agricola agricola Various small bush-pea plants incl. Aotus spp, Bossiaea spp, Daviesia spp (bitter-peas), Dillwynia spp (parrot-peas) incl. D. sericea (showy parrot-pea), Eutaxia microphylla (mallee bush-pea), Pultenaea spp incl. P. acerosa (bristly bush-pea), P. densifolia (dense bush-pea), P. largiflorens (twiggy bush-pea), P. tenuifolia (narrow-leaf bush-pea) (Fabaceae). Larvae sometimes attended by a few small dark brown and black ants Iridomyrmex sp.
Prosotas dubiosa dubiosa On the buds and flowers of many native and introduced plants.   In S.A. it has been found on Acacia victoriae victoriae (elegant or bramble wattle) (Mimosaceae).  Larvae normally attended by a few small ants.
Theclinesthes albocincta Adriana spp incl. A. urticoides var. hookeri (mallee bitterbush or water bush), A. quadripartita f. klotzschii (coast bitterbush) (Euphorbiaceae). Larvae attended by a few ants of numerous species which also feed from the nectary glands of the Adriana, and include the large sugar-ants Camponotus consobrinus and C. terebrans, and a small black sugar-ant of the C. rubiginosus gp, a small Crematogaster sp, Dolichoderus sp, Iridomyrmex spp incl. meat ants, Iridomyrmex sp (rufoniger group), Melophorus sp, Monomorium sp, Myrmecia spp incl. the inch-ant M. nigriscapa, brown or black Notoncus spp, a small Ochetellus sp, Ochetellus glaber, a black Polyrhachis sp, Rhytidoponera metallica. Life History
Theclinesthes miskini miskini Mainly on Acacia spp incl. A. anceps, A. pycnantha, A. salicina, **A. saligna, A. tetragonophylla (kurara or deadfinish wattle), A. victoriae victoriae, and **Paraserianthes(Albizia) lophantha (Cape Leeuwin wattle) (Mimosaceae); also on Sesbania cannabina (sesbania pea) (Fabaceae); Atalaya hemiglauca (whitewood) (Sapindaceae); Eucalyptus spp (Myrtaceae); Hakea vittata (striped hakea) (Proteaceae). In S.A. larvae attended by either a few small black ants Iridomyrmex sp, and in the northern areas by also the large meat ants Iridomyrmex purpureus and I. viridiaeneus; interstate also attended by Camponotus terebrans, Dolichoderus scrobiculatus, Froggattella kirbii, Iridomyrmex sp (anceps and rufoniger groups), Paratrechina sp.
Theclinesthes serpentata serpentata Mainly on saltbushes incl. Atriplex acutibractea, A. australasica (native orache or green saltbush), A. cinerea (coast saltbush), A. eichleri (Eichler's saltbush), A. elachophylla, A. holocarpa (pop saltbush), A. leptocarpa (slender-fruit saltbush), A. limbata (spreading saltbush), A. lindleyi & ssp (baldoo), A. lobativalvis, A. macropterocarpa, A. morrisii, A. muelleri (annual or Mueller's saltbush), A. nummularia nummularia (old-man saltbush), A. obconica, A. paludosa paludosa (marsh saltbush), A. paludosa cordata (marsh saltbush), *A. pumilio (mat saltbush), A. pseudocampanulata (spreading saltbush), A. quinii (kidney-fruit saltbush), A. rhagodioides (river saltbush), A. semibaccata (berry saltbush), A. spongiosa (pop saltbush), A. suberecta (lagoon saltbush), A. velutinella (sandhill saltbush), A. vesicaria variabilis (bladder saltbush), *Chenopodium album (fat hen or white goosefoot), C. curvispicatum, C. gaudichaudianum (scrambling goosefoot), C. nitrariaceum (nitre goosefoot), Einadia nutans nutans (climbing saltbush), E. nutans oxycarpa, Halosarcia halocnemoides (grey samphire), Rhagodia candolleana candolleana (seaberry saltbush), R. crassifolia (fleshy saltbush), R. eremaea (desert saltbush), R. parabolica (fragrant or mealy saltbush), R. preissii preissii (mallee saltbush), R. spinescens (spiny saltbush) (Chenopodiaceae); also on Atalaya hemiglauca (whitewood) (Sapindaceae). Larvae attended by a few ants, usually small black or brown Iridomyrmex spp, but occasionally a small black sugar-ant Camponotus ceriseipes, small black Monomorium rubriceps, a small red bull-ant of the Myrmecia nigrocincta gp, or a small black Notoncus sp.
Zizeeria karsandra In S.A. it uses Glinus lotoides (hairy carpet-weed) and G. oppositifolius (slender carpet-weed) (Molluginaceae).  Other host-plants in Australia that also occur in S.A. include Tribulus spp incl. *T. terrestris (caltrop) (Zygophyllaceae).  Overseas, the larvae also feed on *Amaranthus spp incl. *A. deflexus, *A. viridis (Amaranthaceae); *Euphorbia spp (Euphorbiaceae); flowers of small legumes incl. *Trifolium spp (clovers) (Fabaceae); and *Oxalis corniculata (Oxalidaceae).   Larvae are usually attended by a few small ants, Iridomyrmex and Monomorium spp.
Zizina labradus labradus On numerous native and introduced legumes, usually small herbs and plants of the Fabaceae family incl. Crotalaria eremaea strehlowii (smooth loose-flowered rattlepod), Cullen(Psoralea) australasicum, C. microcephalum (mountain scurf-pea), C. pallidum (white scurf-pea), C. patens, Daviesia brevifolia (leafless bitter-pea), Glycine spp incl. *G. max (soybean), Glycyrrhiza acanthocarpa (native liquorice), Hardenbergia violacea (native lilac), Indigofera spp (indigo's) incl. I. australis (austral indigo), Lotus spp incl. L. australis, L. cruentus (redflower trefoil), *Lupinus sp, *Medicago spp (lucernes, medics) incl. M. sativa (lucerne or alfalfa), *Phaseolus spp incl. *P. vulgaris (gardenbean), *Pisum sativum, Pultenaea tenuifolia, Sesbania cannabina (sesbania pea), Swainsona spp, *Trifolium spp (clover), *Trigonella spp (fenugreeks), *Vicia faba, Vigna lanceolata var. latifolia (maloga bean), *Virgilia oroboides.   Will sometimes utilise *Acacia farnesiana (mimosa or sweet acacia) (Mimosaceae).  Larvae sometimes attended by a few small black ants incl. Iridomyrmex, Rhytedoponera and Tapinoma spp, a small dark-brown ant Paratrechina sp, or in the Far North by the large black meat ant Iridomyrmex viridiaeneus or a large black sugar ant Camponotus capito.   Life History
Zizula hylax attenuata In Australia it uses host-plants of the Acanthaceae and Fabaceae families. Those suitable for S.A. conditions incl. Dipteracanthus australasicus and *Ruellia sp (Acanthaceae). Overseas it uses *Mimosa (sensitive plant) (Mimosaceae); *Oxalis corniculata (Oxalidaceae); and *Tribulus (caltrops) (Zygophyllaceae). Larvae are sometimes attended by a few small ants.

 

Australia's Virtual Herbarium - Provides butterfly hostplant distribution in Australia
Flora SA - Provides butterfly hostplant distribution in SA

 


Butterflies have evolved in unison with the evolution of flowering plants (angiosperms).  Butterfly foodplants consist almost entirely of flowering plants.   The recently (1998) published Ordinal Classification for the Families of Flowering Plants based on DNA gene sequences, by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, has inferred the synonymy of the following families of butterfly foodplants (for South Australia).

Asclepiadaceae synonym of Apocynaceae, Chenopodiaceae = Amaranthaceae, Capparaceae = Brassicaceae, Hydrophyllaceae = Boraginaceae, Sterculiaceae = Malvaceae.


Author:  R. GRUND,  copyright 1998, all rights reserved.   Last update 15 Oct 2011.

 

 

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