24 January 2024

Dark Grass Blue – Dhahran Waste Water Lake

Whilst walking around the Waste Water Lake in Dhahran in early-January I came across a number of Dark Grass Blue Zizeeria karsandra also known as Asian Grass Blue. It is a small butterfly found in the Arabian Peninsula in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Oman as well as the Southern Mediterranean, in a broad band to India, Sri Lanka, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea and northern and eastern Australia. They are abundant throughout the northern part of Saudi Arabia excepting the border area with Jordon but also occur in the mountains as far south as at least Taif. They are weak flyers keeping low and are not strong migrants. Colour and size varies probably depending on food source availability with males generally blue with brown wing margins and the females a bit larger being brown. It is of oriental origin having many species of hostplants and is always found in warm biotopes and dislikes cold ones. This is the first time I have knowingly seen this butterfly in Dhahran, although they have been seen here previously. I have seen them many times elsewhere in Saudi Arabia.