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.
Photo: Male, Lesueur NP, WA, 27/08/2011.
Despite having a fairly wide distribution range, the Copper Dusky Blue is a very local and uncommon species. Thanks to their orange-brown colour and characteristic dark patch, male Copper Dusky Blues are unmistakable. Females look somewhat similar to other Candalides species, but are relatively large.
The butterflies ususally rest on the ground or on low shrubs with their wings either closed or half opened. Males can generally be found near hilltops where they perch on small shrubs to establish territories. They will usually remain within a few metres of their original perch, even after being disturbed. Females live a much more secluded life and are rarely seen.