Immature larva of T. albocincta coastal form on the male flower head of
Adriana quadripartita form klotzschii.
Note the nectary gland (arrowed) of the Adriana which ants will feed from, sometimes oblivious to the Theclinesthes larvae.
Mature larva from Adelaide,
with body half inside a fruit,
eating out its contents
A large droplet of nectary fluid near the posterior end of a mature larva from the Gawler Ranges, that is used by attendant ants as a food source
The multicoloured mature larvae of T. albocincta coastal form from Adelaide, also showing the score marks of the feeding larvae on the leaf surface of A. quadripartita form klotzschii. The larvae are not normally gregarious as pictured but have been assembled together to show their colour range.
Green mature larvae of T. albocincta inland form from Ooldea, also showing the score marks of the feeding larvae on the leaf surface of A. urticoides var. hookeri
Closeup of mature larvae of T. albocincta inland form from Alice Springs, head on left
A small parasitoid Braconid wasp that has developed via a third instar larva of T. albocincta. The larva of the wasp after having demolished the insides of the butterfly larva, emerges and makes a large silk cocoon beneath the dead butterfly larva and within which it pupates.
Prepupa just before pupation showing the turquoise colour due to green haemolymph blood showing through the transparent outer cuticle
Typical coastal back-dune habitat (sea to the left) south of Adelaide, in which Adriana quadripartita form klotzschii thrives.
A large clump of Adriana is present in the centre foreground.
Adriana quadripartita form klotzschii (centre and foreground), growing in a coastal sand plain environment north of Adelaide
Adriana urticoides var. hookeri (centre foreground), growing in a mallee dune environment
All photography by R. Grund unless stated otherwise.