Chequered blue butterfly

Chequered blue butterfly
Image: Syrio
Community type

Saline shrubland

Habitat type

Saltmarsh and tidal flats

Saltmarshes and other types of wetlands are a haven for butterflies, particularly in summer and autumn when their food plants are in flower. Although found throughout much of Australia, they are uncommon in Tasmania, and are listed as Rare in the state. Saltmarshes of the lower Derwent estuary and neighbouring Pitt Water are one of the only places where this butterfly has been recorded in Tasmania. They occur mainly on saltmarsh, as the larvae feed mainly on the flowering heads and leaves of saltbush. But clovers, grasses and other shrubs are also known as food plants. Adults of the chequered blue butterfly have a wingspan of about 20 millimetres across and get their common name from the colour pattern of their wings. The upper side of the wings are the most striking, being iridescent blue in the middle, brown in the centre, with a fringe that is chequered brown and white. They are best seen on sunny days during their Autumn flight period, and usually fly in the vicinity of its foodplant, Rhagodia spp.

Much of the text within the species area of our website was written by Veronica Thorpe, as part of the Derwent River Wildlife Guide (2000).

The DEP has developed a variety of classroom and outdoor activities focused around the key estuary habitats of tidal wetlands, salt marshes and rocky reefs. These include classroom materials, online resources, interpretive walks, games and sensory experiences.