Speckled Line Blue (Catopyrops florinda)
Appearance: Male upperside purple-blue, female upperside grey-brown with extended blue suffusion. Underside of both sexes cream-coloured with several conspicuous bands of dark markings. Black subtornal spot and fine, long tail on the hind wing.
Wingspan: 2.2 cm
Season: Several generations all around the year.
Range: Northern and eastern Australia, including north-eastern WA, northern NT, northern and eastern QLD, and eastern NSW all the way south to Sydney.
Habitat: Edges of rainforest and gallery forest.
Photo: Epping, NSW, 05 / 04 / 2010.
The Speckled Line Blue can be found across northern and eastern Australia from north-eastern WA all the way south to the NSW central coast. Sydney is at the southern edge of its range, and the Speckled Line Blue is considered a great rarity in the Sydney area. Yet, I found it to be very common along a busy road in Epping in Sydney’s north. The butterflies are often seen perched on trees and shrubs or feeding from flowers.
There are a few similar species, in particular the Pale Pea Blue (Catochrysops panormus) which has a similar geographic range. The Speckled Line Blue can be distinguished from these through details in the distinctive pattern of dark patches on the underside.