Candalides erinus (Fabricius, 1775)
Small Dusky Blue
(one synonym : Polycyma cassythae Scott, 1869)
CANDALIDINI ,   POLYOMMATINAE ,   LYCAENIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


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 velvety green with a pale yellow dorsal line edged with brown markings. It is known to feed on various species of Dodder ( LAURACEAE ), including :

  • Golden Dodder ( Cassytha aurea ),
  • Common Dodder Laurel ( Cassytha filiformis ), and
  • Downy Dodder ( Cassytha pubescens ).


    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.

    The pupa is grey or brown with dark markings, and has flanges on the abdomen. Its length is about 1 cm.


    Male
    (Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, South Stradbroke Island)

    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.


    Male,
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The eggs are white, rough, round, and flattened. They are laid singly on young shoots of a foodplant.


    (Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, South Stradbroke Island)

    The species occurs on

  • New Guinea,

    and the whole northern half of Australia including

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern territory, and
  • Queensland.


    Male, 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. 767-768.

    Fabricius,
    Syst. Ent. (1775), p. 525.

    Harriet, Helena, and Alexander W. Scott,
    Australian Lepidoptera and their Transformations,
    Australian Lepidoptera,
    Volume 2 (1869), p. 9, and also Plate 12.


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    (updated 16 September 2010)