|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
The eggs of this species are laid singly on the underside of a leaf of a food plant.They are barrel-shaped, and have vertical ridges. Initially they are white, later changing to bluish-green. The Caterpillars are black with orange tubercles, and are covered in branched black spines. They feed in Australia on native violets: Arrowhead Violet (Viola betonicifolia), and Trailing Violet (Viola hederacea).
The pupa is spiky and orange. Some of the spikes are cream coloured. It hangs by a cremaster from a stem of a nearby plant.
The adult butterflies on top are orange with black spots. The female has larger black spots, creating black areas on the wingtips. Underneath, both sexes are pale with brown markings, and the female has an area of orange and white with black markings under each fore wing. The wingspan can reach 7 cms.
The species occurs over north east Africa, and southern Asia, including : India, Hong Kong,Japan,Korea,Papua New Guinea,and Australia, where it is considered to be an endangered species.
This female was feeding in mid-afternoon, relatively unconcerend about my presence. I have posted a workshop showing the underside, using as small an aperture as I dared to get the DOF needed from this angle. The picture is hand-held in good autumnal sunshine. The image has been cropped, resized and sharpened iusing CS3.
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby, Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 550-551.
Johnston and Johnston, Life history of Argyreus hyperbius inconstans (Australian fritillary), Australian Entomological Magazine, Volume 11 (October 1984), pp. 4-5.
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