Imperial Blue


Small Dusky Blue - Candalides erinus


This page contains information and pictures about Small Dusky Blue Butterflies in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.

Wingspan 25mm, female
We first  found them in Yugarapul Park during mid-summer. They look like the Common Grass Blue but with dark spots on bottom of front wings.
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As most other Blue butterflies, the top side of their wings are grey blue in colour, becomes copper brown under the sunlight. 
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Above pictures were taken on White Hill during late summer. The butterfly was feeding on Smooth Darling Pea Swainsona galegifolia
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We also found this Dusky Blue sun-bathing on the foot path in Alexandra Hill during late summer.
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The males seem to have strong territory behavior. Their territory is about 1 meter in diameter. When another male comes into the occupied territory, there will be a short battle, the territory owner can usually drive the intruder away. 
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In late summer we also found many of them near White Hill. They fly close to the ground and like to rest on ground or plants near the ground level. 
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We found this Small Dusky Blue in Karawatha Forest during late-summer. The butterfly looks like the Common Dusky Blue, with very similar wing patterns but in paler colour. This Small Dusky Blue seems more common in Brisbane.


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Both male and female butterflies are look about the same. They are bluish-brown on top with purple sheen. On the bottom side are the pale brown markings, with two large spots on front wings. The patterns on females are a bit paler. 
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The top size of the female butterfly is bluish-brown in colour.  
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Their caterpillars are green with a pale yellow line edged and with brown markings, come out to feed on the parasitic-vine Dodder Laurel Cassytha pubescens at night.
We can concluded that this butterfly is common in Brisbane Eucalypt forest. It can be recognized by the two dots under each forewings.
(The Small Dusky Blue and the Common Dusky blue are mixed and confused in those reference information. We followed The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia in our web pages.)

1. Candalides erinus - Australian Caterpillars, Don Herbison-Evans & Stella Crossley, 2005.
2. Australian Butterflies -  McCubbin, Charles, Nelson, Sydney, 1971. p67.
3. Wild Plants of Greater Brisbane -  Queensland Museum, 2003, p68, Dodder Laurel Cassytha pubescens.
4. The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia - Michael F Braby, Australian National University, CSIRO 2004, p262.

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Last updated: July 20, 2010.