Small Dusky Blue
(one synonym : Polycyma cassythae Scott, 1869)
CANDALIDINI, POLYOMMATINAE, LYCAENIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)
This Caterpillar is initially brown and corrugated. Later instars become velvety green with a pair of pale yellow dorsal lines.
The caterpillars feed on various species of Dodder ( LAURACEAE), including :
The caterpillars normally rest on a stem of their forddplant, and grow to a length of about 1.6 cms.
(Photos: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)
The pupa is pale grey or brown, with dark markings, and has flanges on the abdomen. Its length is about 1 cm. It is usually attached to a suitable twig by cremaster and girdle
The male and female adults are similar: dark brown on top with a purple sheen. Underneath, they are fawn with brown markings, including two large spots under the tornus of each forewing. The butterflies have a wing span of about 2 cms.
The eggs are white, rough, round, and flattened. They are laid singly on young shoots of a foodplant.
The species occurs on
and the whole northern half of Australia including
The adults are often confused with those of Candalides hyacinthinus. One diagnostic difference is that on the underside of the hindwing of Candalides erinus, the medial and postmedial arcs of dark markings diverge away from each other as they approach the hind margin.
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia,
CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 767-768.
Johan Christian Fabricius,
Historiae Natvralis Favtoribvs,
Flensburgi et Lipsiae (1775), p. 525, No. 348.
Life history notes on the Small Dusky-blue, Candalides erinus (Fabricius, 1775) Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae,
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club,
Issue 91 (December 2018), pp. 11-14,
Harriet, Helena, and Alexander W. Scott,
Australian Lepidoptera and their Transformations,
Volume 2 (1869), p. 9, and also Plate 12.
(updated 16 September 2010, 8 July 2020)