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Varied Dusky Blue (Candalides hyacinthina)

Varied Dusky Blue

Appearance: Upperside grey-brown with faint blue suffusion that normally extends across only part of the wings in females. Underside light grey with numerous grey spots and markings and two prominent black subtornal spots on the fore wing.
Wingspan: 2.8 cm
Season: Several generations from late winter until autumn.
Range: Temperate and semi-arid regions of Australia. Not in the NT and TAS.
Habitat: Wide variety of habitats, including forest, woodland, and heathland.
Photo: Yarra Bend Park, VIC, 04/12/2005.

Description

The Varied Dusky Blue is a common and widespread species across the temperate and semi-arid regions of Australia, including eastern QLD, eastern and southern NSW, the ACT, VIC, southern SA, and southern and western WA. Males have the faint blue suffusion on the upperside extend across the entire wings, whereas in females the suffusion varies significantly in intensity and extent. Both male and female of the subspecies simplexa, which is found across most of southern and south-western Australia, have the upperside colour much brighter blue (see Fig. 7) and the underside markings somewhat fainter and less pronounced (Fig. 8).

The Varied Dusky Blue can be easily identified by the two conspicuous black subtornal spots on the underside of the fore wing, although there are two very similar species in parts of northern and eastern Australia, namely the Twin Dusky Blue (Candalides geminus) and the Small Dusky Blue (Candalides erinus).

Additional Photos

Varied Dusky Blue
Upperside of a male with faint blue suffusion all over the wings. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 28/01/2008)
Varied Dusky Blue
Upperside of a female with extended blue suffusion. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 01/03/2008)
Varied Dusky Blue
Underside of a male with the two conspicuous black spots on the fore wing. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 24/10/2009)
Varied Dusky Blue
The underside of the female looks very similar. (Ingleburn, NSW, 13/03/2010)
Varied Dusky Blue
Freshly emerged males often display iridescent colours on the upperside of the wings. (Grampians NP, VIC, 26/12/2009)
Varied Dusky Blue
The blue suffusion on the upperside of the female is often reduced to a small patch on the fore wing. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 26/01/2010)
Varied Dusky Blue
Specimens of the subspecies simplexa (here a male) have the upperside colour light blue. (Lesueur NP, WA, 27/08/2011)
Varied Dusky Blue
Underside of a male of the subspecies simplexa, the grey markings being very indistinct. (Lesueur NP, WA, 27/08/2011)
Varied Dusky Blue
Another view of the upperside of a male of the subspecies simplexa. (Nambung NP, WA, 04/01/2013)
Varied Dusky Blue
Another view of the underside of a male of the subspecies simplexa. (Nambung NP, WA, 04/01/2013)
Varied Dusky Blue
The size and intensity of the underside markings (here of a male) varies substantially. (Nambung NP, WA, 04/01/2013)
Varied Dusky Blue
Females attach their tiny white eggs directly to the food plant. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 06/03/2010)