Copper Dusky Blue (Candalides cyprotus)
Appearance: Male upperside orange-brown with extended, dark patch on the forewing. Female upperside orange-brown with extended purple colouration. Underside of both sexes uniformly grey with small, dark spots.
Wingspan: 2.5–3.0 cm
Season: Usually only 1 generation between late winter and early summer.
Range: Across western and southern WA, south-eastern SA, western VIC, NSW, and south-eastern QLD. Not in NT and TAS.
Habitat: Heathland, open woodland, and shrubland.
Despite being found over a fairly wide range across most of southern Australia, the Copper Dusky Blue is a very local and rarely seen species. Thanks to their orange-brown colour and characteristic dark sex-brand, male Copper Dusky Blues are unmistakable. The females look somewhat similar to other Candalides species, but are relatively large.
When at rest, the butterflies usually have their wings either fully closed or only half open. Male Copper Dusky Blues are most commonly encountered on hilltops where they gather to mate with females. Hill-topping males are quite territorial and will often chase after other insects and even the observer. However, they will usually return to their original perch even after being disturbed, making them easy to observe. The females live a much more secluded life and are rarely seen.