Satin Azure (Ogyris amaryllis)
Appearance: Upperside bright iridescent blue. Underside pattern highly variable. Very similar to other species of the genus Ogyris.
Wingspan: 3.5 cm
Season: 2 generations in spring and summer; in western WA all year round.
Range: All across Australia with the exception of TAS.
Habitat: Wide variety of habitats, including open forest, woodland, and shrubland.
Photo: Male, Nambung NP, WA, 07/01/2011.
The Satin Azure is one of the most widespread butterflies of Australia. Missing only from TAS, it can be found locally all across the mainland in various climate zones ranging from the temperate regions in the south to the tropical areas in the north. The butterflies can be found across a wide range of habitats, including open forest and woodland, wherever the food plants grow. Males are often encountered flying rapidly around trees and shrubs, usually several metres above the ground where they are difficult to spot and observe. They frequently settle on exposed branches, but their wings always remain closed, and the iridescent blue upperside of the wings is only visible in flight.
The Satin Azure is very similar to other species of the genus Ogyris, most notably the Silky Azure (Ogyris oroetes). To complicate matters, the pattern on the underside of the wings varies geographically, and the Satin Azure is subdivided into several subspecies, namely amaryllis in south-eastern QLD and eastern NSW, amata in the ACT, hewitsoni in coastal QLD and NT, and meridionalis in WA, SA, inland NT, inland QLD, central and western NSW, and north-western VIC.