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Speckled Line Blue (Catopyrops florinda)

Speckled Line Blue

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.

Description

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 about the southern limit of this species, 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 can often be seen resting on leaves of 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 distribution range. The Speckled Line Blue can be distinguished from these through details in the distinctive pattern of dark patches on the underside.

Additional Photos

Speckled Line Blue
The upperside of the male is uniformly purple-blue. (Epping, NSW, 05/04/2010)
Speckled Line Blue
The extent of the blue suffusion on the upperside of the female varies. (Epping, NSW, 05/04/2010)
Speckled Line Blue
The underside shows a characteristic pattern of dark patches. (Epping, NSW, 05/04/2010)
Speckled Line Blue
The butterflies often rest on leaves of trees or shrubs. (Epping, NSW, 05/04/2010)