Candalides absimilis (C. Felder 1862)
Pencilled Blue
(previously known as Holochila absimilis)
POLYOMMATINI,   POLYOMMATINAE,   LYCAENIDAE,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Candalides absimilis

This Caterpillar is green with a dark dorsal line and diagonal white marks along the sides. The head is brown. It feeds on the buds and young shoots of a variety of Australian native plants including :

  • Coral Trees ( Erythrina species, FABACEAE ),
  • Supplejack ( Flagellaria indica, COMMELINACEAE ),
  • Macadamia Nuts ( Macadamia integrifolia, PROTEACEAE ),
  • Tuckeroo ( Cupaniopsis anacardioides, SAPINDACEAE ), and
  • Kurrajong ( Brachychiton populneus, STERCULIACEAE ),

    as well as the introduced :

  • Pudding Pie Tree ( Cassia fistula, CAESALPINIACEAE ),
  • False Acacia ( Robinia pseudacacia, FABACEAE ),
  • Sweet Wisteria ( Wisteria sinensis, FABACEAE ), and
  • Flamegold ( Koelreuteria elegans, SAPINDACEAE ).

    Candalides absimilis
    pupa
    (Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, Paradise Point, Queensland)

    The pupa is brown and has a length of about 1.5 cms. It is usually attached by the abdominal tip and a girdle to the food plant.

    Candalides absimilis
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Jenny Whiting, Pennant Hills, New South Wales)

    The male adults are grey-blue on top.

    Candalides absimilis
    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Jenny Whiting, Pennant Hills, New South Wales)

    The females are brown on top with a large white patch on each wing, and a purple sheen near the hinges.

    Candalides absimilis
    (Photo: courtesy of the Bruce Anstee)

    Underneath, they both are white with rows of fawn carets. The butterflies have a wing span of about 3 cms.

    Candalides absimilis
    male: underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The species occurs along most of the east coast of Australia, including

  • New South Wales, and
  • Victoria.

    Candalides absimilis
    female underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 758-760.

    Baron Cajetan von Felder,
    Verzeichniss der von den Naturforschern der Fregatte Novara gesammelten Macropepidoteren,
    Verhandlungen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien,
    Volume 12, Part 1 (1862), p. 490, No. 168.

    Frank Jordan & Helen Schwencke,
    Create More Butterflies : a guide to 48 butterflies and their host-plants
    Earthling Enterprises, Brisbane, 2005, pp. 15, 56, 59, 64.


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    (updated 30 October 2013, 12 March 2015)