The purple copper butterfly is a small species with a wingspan of approximately 22 mm.The male’s wings are shining purple with black margins, with fringes chequered black and white. The female is black or dark brown, with central area suffused with bronze, sometimes with the base of the wings a deep shining purple or blue, and with fringes chequered black and white. The lower surface of the wings is patterned with subtle brown, black and grey on both male and female.The species’ black antennae are dotted with white spots and end with a black tip. Eggs are white, 0.8 mm in diameter, generally dome-shaped, and densely and finely pitted.The larvae have a grey body with brown dorsal and subdorsal lines. although final stage larvae can reach 18 mm.The broadest dorsal lines are separated on each segment by a whitish streak. The larvae have prominent organs that can be turned inside out and secrete a liquid attractive to the attendant ant. Pupae are 12 – 15 mm long, have a brown head and thorax, with lighter brown abdomen.
Bathurst Copper Butterfly |
Status: Vulnerable on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Paralucia spinifera
Information and research priorities Improve understanding of the responses of the butterfly; blackthorn and attendant ant species to different fire regimes and identify appropriate fire regimes for conservation of the threatened species.