Small Dusky Blue
(one synonym : Polycyma cassythae Scott, 1869)
CANDALIDINI, POLYOMMATINAE, LYCAENIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
drawing by Harriet and Helena Scott, listed as Polycyma cassythae,
Australian Lepidoptera and their Transformations, Volume 2 (1864), Plate 12,
image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Australian Museum.
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 pupa is grey or brown with dark markings, and has flanges on the abdomen. Its length is about 1 cm.
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
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,
Issue 91 (December 2018), pp. 11-14,
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.
Harriet, Helena, and Alexander W. Scott,
Australian Lepidoptera and their Transformations,
Volume 2 (1869), p. 9, and also Plate 12.
(updated 16 September 2010)