A great egret looks for breakfast at Calamvale Creek

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Scientific stuff

Wattle blue butterfly,
also called Miskin's blue

Species:
Theclinesthes miskini
Subfamily: Polyommatinae
Family: Lycaenidae
Order: Lepidoptera

Identification:
Small, fast-flying, mostly pale blue butterfly with light scalloped pattern on outer edge of wings and darker clustered daubs further in. At back of wing it has two spots that look like golden “eyes” with black “pupils”, and prominent eyelash under top “eye”. Legs are light coloured with fine dark spots. End of abdomen is patterned with dark arrowheads that may look like stripes.

Because the wattle blue butterfly flitters so quickly, its colour is often hard to recognize until it rests. Winter form is darker than summer form.

Size:
2 to 2.5 centimetres (one inch).

Personality:
Quick, looks prettier the closer you inspect it.

Using our photos

Photos on this website are copyright. If you want to use any, email us at: creeklife@gmail.com

Wendy's photos

Wendy and other wattle blue butterflies have some favourite plants around Calamvale Creek.

If you visit the plants often enough you will see the wattle blues on some of your visits. They frequently visit the back gardens of houses around the creek.

The photographer said:
“When I first saw Wendy she was flittering around the top of a bush about 3 metres high and I thought she was never going to land.

“She was a pretty little butterfly, with a wingspan of only about 2.2 centimetres.

“The first photos I got of her were not very clear because she was too high for me to get a clear view.

“But on other days she landed lower down. I used my zoom lens to its maximum, and kept clicking away for the few minutes she was in view.

“Most of the shots were obscured or blurry, but I got a few well-focused photos, some of which are on this page.”

Critters of Calamvale Creek

Wendy the wattle blue butterfly

Also called Miskin's blue

Theclinesthes miskini

wattle_blue_butterfly_1 (24K)Hello, humans. Welcome to my world. I'm Wendy the wattle blue butterfly from Calamvale Creek in Brisbane, Australia.

If you look carefully, you may see me in any area that has Australian wattle (Acacia) trees. That's because I am patriotic, and you know of course that Australia's floral emblem is the golden wattle — Acacia pycnantha.

wattle_blue_butterfly_2 (22K)But I enjoy fluttering around other bushes and plants too. There are several around the creek that I like to visit. I wasn't “wattling” at the time any of the photos on this page were taken.

I am a pretty little blue butterfly. But people who don't look closely sometimes dismiss me as a moth (yuk!) or a common cabbage white butterfly.

Stone the croaking toads! How thick can people get! Cabbage whites are twice my size and they are white. I'm blue!

How do we start life?

wattle_blue_butterfly_3 (16K) As you probably know, butterflies all come from caterpillars. Our light green eggs turn into dark green or brownish caterpillars with a dark band across the upper back. The caterpillars have a brown head and light diagonal streaks.

Various types of black or green ants often travel with the caterpillars.

Before the caterpillar turns into an adult butterfly, it has a pupal (in-between) stage of about 13 or 14 days.

What do the caterpillars eat?

The caterpillars are patriotic too. They like to dine on young seedlings of wattle trees, but also don't mind a few other types of trees, depending where they are. Some like certain eucalyptus plants, and will eat the yellow pea bush if they are near it.

Other interesting facts

wattle_blue_butterfly_4 (25K)

Hey, it was nice chatting with you. Watch out for spider webs! I do.

— Wendy the pretty little wattle blue butterfly