Dark Grass Blue
Zizeera karsandra, Moore

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Dark Grass Blue

A very small blue with a wingspan of 15-20 mm. The males are a uniform dark blue above and narrowly marked by black bands on the outer margins of both wings. The upper sides of the female are brown though some specimens have some blue at the base of both wings. The wings are somewhat transparent and allow markings of the lower side to show through when viewed from above.

In both sexes, the underside ground colour is a light brown, with some variation in wet and dry season forms. There are numerous small black markings on both wings - the ones on the forewings are always larger and often darker as well. A spot is always present in the cell on the underside of the forewing. The median band of spots on the hind wing are uniformly arranged in an arc.

Similar species
Lesser Grass Blue, Tiny Grass Blue and Grass Jewel. More information.

Status, distribution and habitat
A common butterfly found year round to at least up to 5000 feet. It is not as common as the Lesser Grass Blue or the Tiny Grass Blue. Its habitat is short grass with small leguminous and acathaceous plants.

It flies fast among the short grass that it inhabits and is seldom seen more than a couple of feet above ground. It is a very active butterfly and flies about a great deal in good weather. It obtains nourishment from the flowers of small herbs in its habitat. It is gregarious and is often seen in the company of the Lesser Grass Blue.

Early stages
The eggs are laid singly and placed inside the bracts of flowers or within tightly clustered buds or flowers, and are not easy to see even immediately after oviposition. The larvae feed on very tender leaves or buds and developing pods. They are well hidden within the leaves and bracts and are hard to spot. Pupation occurs on the plant in a concealed location. The principal larval host plant is Zornia diphyla.

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