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Small Bronze Azure (Ogyris otanes)

Small Bronze Azure
Female, Nambung NP, WA, 07/01/2011.

Appearance: Upperside mainly dark brown with extended purple suffusion. Underside pattern extremely variable. Very similar to other species in the genus Ogyris.
Wingspan: 3.5–4.0 cm
Season: 2 generations in spring and summer.
Range: Very local and restricted to parts of south-western WA, south-eastern SA, and north-western VIC.
Habitat: Heathland and shrubland; also eucalypt woodland in south-western WA.

Description

The Small Bronze Azure is a rare and very local species that can only be found in a few small areas of south-western WA, south-eastern SA, and north-western VIC. The butterflies are usually found on heathland and shrubland where they fly very rapidly close to the ground. They often settle with their wings closed on small shrubs or rocks where they are perfectly camouflaged.

The Small Bronze Azure is difficult to distinguish from other species in the genus Ogyris, in particular the very similar Large Bronze Azure (Ogyris idmo) and Arid Bronze Azure (Ogyris subterrestris) both of which have a similar geographic distribution. To complicate matters, the pattern on the underside of the wings is subject to substantial geographic variability, and the Small Bronze Azure is subdivided into three subspecies: otanes in SA and VIC, arcana along the south coast of WA, and sublustris along the west coast of WA.

Additional Photos

Small Bronze Azure
Underside of a male of the WA subspecies Ogyris otanes sublustris. (Nambung NP, WA, 04/01/2013)
Small Bronze Azure
Underside of a female of the WA subspecies Ogyris otanes sublustris. (Nambung NP, WA, 04/01/2013)
Small Bronze Azure
With the wings closed, this female is perfectly camouflaged. (Nambung NP, WA, 04/01/2013)
Small Bronze Azure
The underside pattern (here of a female) is extremely variable. (Nambung NP, WA, 07/01/2011)
Small Bronze Azure
Coastal habitat of Ogyris otanes sublustris in western WA. (Nambung NP, WA, 04/01/2013)