Butterflies of Australia
Blue Pansy
Junonia orithya  LINNAEUS, 1758
subfamily - NYMPHALINAE
Junonia orithya, Wollongong, NSW, Australia David Fischer
The genus Junonia comprises of 33 species found variously in North and South America, Africa, the Oriental region, Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia and the islands of the South Pacific. There are 3 species in Australia: hedonia, villida and orithya. The various members of the genus differ markedly in colour but have several characteristics in common, including prominent maculae in the discal cell of the forewing, and circular ocelli on the hindwings. In several species including villida and orithya there are also prominent ocelli on the forewings. All species have cryptic marbled undersides which resemble dry dead leaves.

Junonia orithya is typical of the genus, being brightly marked with blue and orange, and possessing prominent ocelli. Both sexes are similar in colour and pattern, but the male has more extensive areas of blue, and smaller ocelli on the hindwings.

The butterfly is found in sub-Saharan Africa, Arabia, and over most of the Oriental and Australian regions. In Australia it occurs in Northern Territory, North West Australia, Torres Strait islands, Queensland, and New South Wales.
This species, like most others in the genus, is found mainly in open habitats including grassland, savannah / woodland mosaics, large clearings in forests, and on farmland. This is mainly a lowland species, found at elevations between sea level and about 300 metres.
The green, barrel-shaped eggs are laid singly on the underside of leaves of the foodplants.
The larva when fully grown is black with minute yellow spots, and covered in short multi-branched spines. The head is orange, with a pair of short black spines. It feeds diurnally on the foliage of herbaceous plants including Justicia, Hypoestes, Lepidagathis, Thunbergia, Rostellularia, Hygrophila, Asystasia, Pseuderanthenum, Barleria ( Acanthaceae ), Convolvulus, Ipomoea, ( Convolvulaceae ), Angelonia ( Scrophulariaceae ),  Lippia, ( Verbenaceae ), Buchnera, ( Orobanchaceae ), Plantago, Antirrhinum ( Plantaginaceae ) and doubtless many other genera and species.
The chrysalis is brown, mottled with greyish, and has yellowish-brown wing cases. The back is studded with tiny thorn-like tubercules. It is suspended by the cremaster from dry stems.
Adult behaviour
Both sexes nectar at a wide variety of wild or cultivated flowers. They fly swiftly, usually over short distances, and spend short periods basking on the ground or on foliage, with their wings held fully outspread.


Contact  /  About me

Butterfly-watching holidays

Trip reports

UK latest sightings

Frequently asked questions

Strange but true !

Taxonomy & Evolution



Enemies of butterflies

Survival strategies

Migration & dispersal

Habitats - UK / Palaearctic

Habitats - Tropical rainforests

Butterfly world census

Butterflies of the World :

British Isles


Amazon & Andes

North America

temperate Asia


Indian subcontinent

Malaysia & Borneo

Papua New Guinea

Australia & N.Z.

Insects of Britain & Europe

Insects of Amazonia

Moths of the Andes

Saturniidae - Silkmoths

Caterpillars of the World

Butterfly Photography

Recommended Books



Code of practice

Copyright - text & images

Copyright - text & images






All photographs, artwork, text & website design are the property of Adrian Hoskins ( unless otherwise stated ) and are protected by Copyright. Photographs or text on this website must not be reproduced in part or in whole or published elsewhere without prior written consent of Adrian Hoskins / learnaboutbutterflies.com

Site hosted by Just Host