Herimosa albovenata (Waterhouse, 1940)
White Veined Skipper
(previously known as Anisynta albovenata)
Don Herbison-Evans,
Stella Crossley

Herimosa albovenata
(Photo: courtesy of Robert Fisher, Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc.)

The Caterpillars of this species are pale green with dark lines along the body. They have a mottled brown head and a brown tail with long white hairs. The Caterpillars feed on various species of Speargrass (POACEAE) :

  • Rough Speargrass ( Austrostipa scabra ),
  • Fibrous Speargrass ( Austrostipa semibarbata ),
  • Delicate Speargrass ( Austrostipa falcata ), and
  • Elegant Speargrass ( Austrostipa eremophila ),

    The caterpillars build a shelter with the entrance on top at the base of a foodplant. They rest, head upward, in their shelter by day, emerging to feed at night. The caterpillars grow to a length of about 2 cms. They pupate in a similar shelter, head upward.

    Herimosa albovenata
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The upper side of the adult butterfly is dark brown with a series of pale yellow spots on each forewing.

    Herimosa albovenata
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    Underneath, the wings are similar but paler, but they also show pronounced white veins, and the hindwings show a number of pale spots between the veins. The wing span is about 3 cms.

    Herimosa albovenata
    egg, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Ken Walker, Murray Bridge, South Australia)

    The eggs are shaped like tall domes, with 40 or so vague ribs. The eggs are off-white, developing coloured markings as hatching approaches, The eggs have a diameter of about 1 mm, and a height of about 1 mm. They are laid singly on a leaf or stem of a foodplant.

    The species is found in various small localities distributed over

  • inland New South Wales,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia.

    It occurs as three subspecies:

  • albovenata,
  • fuscata Parsons, 1965, and
  • weemala Couchman, 1954.

  • Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 174-175.

    Gustavus Athol Waterhouse,
    Australian Hesperiidae. IX. Description of a new species,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Volume 65 (1940), p. 568.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 4 August 2001, 21 September 2013, 28 May 2020, 13 September 2021)