Little Grass Blue, Tiny Grass Blue
I saw these tiny little things every time I went to the Botanical Gardens in April and May 2004, but only in one small area. They were living around a low-growing shrub, which is used in the Garden to border a particular flower bed. I presume it is the larval foodplant, certainly the butterflies never strayed from this plant at all. They flit around constantly, and as soon as one lands another one will disturb it - they never seemed to notice me at all! Eventually I was able to get photos of them by waiting for the sun to go behind a cloud. They all disappeared, but when the sun came out again they were basking for a little while before recommencing their continual flitting around.
I had presumed that these were a common species - imagine my surprise when I looked them up and found out that they have hardly ever been recorded from Sydney!
I had even more of a surprise the following week, when I took a closer look at the blues in the Recreation Reserve at Ingleburn. I'd seen some very small blues there a number of times, but when I finally took photos of them I found them to also be this species.
I've been keeping an eye on both colonies. There were plenty of butterflies to be seen in each during April and May, but when I went to the Ingleburn Reserve on the last weekend of May 2004 there were noticeably fewer than previously; perhaps because of the colder nights of the last few days.
I did still see several individuals, and this time I saw them feeding from flowers, which I hadn't seen previously. I also saw a male attempting to court a female. He landed on the same flower, flashed his wings at her repeatedly, and arched his abdomen at her in a practically obscene manner. She was not impressed, and wanted nothing to do with him, even though he persisted for at least half an hour.
Since 2004 I have not seen this species around Sydney. I saw quite a lot of them around Cairns in May 2010, though they were much more interested in fluttering around than in settling, so I didn't get many photos of them.
Ingleburn - April and May 2004.
Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney - April and May 2004.
Cairns - May 2010