Mimics the host plant, in this case Elaeocarpus obovatus (Hard Quandong). Other host plants include Ficus species, Tasmannia insipida, Eupomatia laurina, Cryptocarya microneura, Cupaniopsis anacardioides, Acmena smithii, Elaeocarpus reticulatus, Diospyros australis.
Leaves lanceolate to elliptic, to 13 cm, usually shiny on the upper surface. Lower surface dull. The corolla (part of the inflorescence) is inflated in the middle, usually red, grading into green in the upper part.
Red or purple globose 5-10 mm single seed covered with a gluey substance and enclosed in thin sac. (Blakely 1922)
Host plant for caterpillars of Candalides margarita (Margarita’s Blue). The female butterflies of this species are black with a large white patch on each wing, and a faint metallic blue suffusion toward the base. The males are plain dull blue.
Underneath, both sexes are white with arcs of brown dashes and black dots. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 3 cms.
In Australia, the species is found along the east coast of Queensland and New South Wales. Other subspecies are found in New Guinea.
The large mistletoe family, Loranthaceae, contains 75 genera and approximately 1000 species. The family originated in the Southern Hemisphere and dispersed, apparently early, between fragments of Gondwana. (Wilson, Calvin AMERICAN JOURNAL OF BOTANY)
References and resources
– An origin of aerial branch parasitism in the mistletoe family, Loranthaceae – Carol A. Wilson and Clyde L. Calvin (FEE to view full article)