Varied Dusky Blue (Candalides hyacinthina)
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.
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).