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Short-tailed Line Blue (Prosotas felderi)

Short-tailed Line Blue

Appearance: Very small. Male underside grey with a characteristic pattern of dark bands and white lines and one or two dark subtornal eyespots on the hind wing. Female underside similar, but orange instead of grey. Upperside of both sexes dark brown with faint blue suffusion, usually less extended in females. Short tail on the hind wing.
Wingspan: 1.8–2.0 cm
Season: Several generations annually; most common in late summer and early autumn.
Range: South-eastern QLD and northern and central coast of NSW.
Habitat: Rainforest, eucalypt forest, and woodland; also in suburban gardens and parks.
Photo: Male, Sydney, NSW, 05 / 04 / 2008.

Description

The Short-tailed Line Blue is a very small and inconspicuous species which is easily overlooked. The butterflies can be encountered in rainforests, eucalypt forests, and woodland along the east coast of Australia from south-eastern QLD to the central coast of NSW just south of Sydney. They also occur in suburban gardens and parks. The butterflies can often be found resting on exposed leaves and occasionally feed from flowers.

There are several very similar species in eastern Australia, in particular the Large Purple Line Blue (Nacaduba berenice) and the Long-tailed Line Blue (Prosotas nora). In comparison to these species the Short-tailed Line Blue has a shorter tail on the hind wing and a slightly different pattern of lines and bands on the underside of the wings. In addition, the geographic range of the Long-tailed Line Blue (tropical northern QLD) does not overlap with that of the Short-tailed Line Blue.

Additional Photos

Short-tailed Line Blue
The male underside is grey with numerous dark bands and white lines. (Sydney, NSW, 05 / 04 / 2008)
Short-tailed Line Blue
The female underside is very similar, but orange instead of grey. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 26 / 01 / 2010)
Short-tailed Line Blue
The male upperside is dark brown with faint blue suffusion. (Sydney, NSW, 05 / 04 / 2008)
Short-tailed Line Blue
Females have the blue suffusion on the upperside stronger but less extended. (Ingleburn, NSW, 24 / 04 / 2010)