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


listed as Polycyma cassythae
Drawing: by Harriet and Helena Scott, Australian Lepidoptera, Volume 2 (1864), plate 12,
courtesy of the 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 ).


    listed as Polycyma cassythae
    Drawing: by Harriet and Helena Scott, Australian Lepidoptera, Volume 2 (1864), plate 12,
    courtesy of the 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, plate 12.


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    (updated 16 September 2010)