Dark Palm Dart
(previously known as Pamphila ancilla)
HESPERIINAE, HESPERIIDAE, HESPERIOIDEA
Egg, highly magnified
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)
This caterpillar hatches from an egg laid singly on a foodplant leaf.
The caterpillar is initially yellowish-green with dark lines along the body, and later becomes reddish-brown. The anal segment is unusual in being rather flat, and usually has a black mark on it. The caterpillar lives by day in a cylindrical shelter made by joining leaves together with silk, and by night emerges to feed on the leaves just below its shelter.
It feeds on various grasses and sedges, such as :
The caterpillar leaves its shelter to pupate, typically pupating in a curled leaf on the ground.
The adults are brown with orange patches. The males have a prominent grey line across part of each forewing.
The undersides are greenish-yellow, with orange and brown patches. The butterflies have a wing span of about 3 cms.
This species occurs as over much of south-east Asia, including:
and has two subspecies in Australia :
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 222-223.
Gottlieb August Wilhelm Herrich-Schäffer,
Neue Schmetterlinge aus dem "Museum Godeffroy" in Hamburg,
Stettiner Entomologische Zeitung,
Volume 30, Parts 1-3 (1869) p. 79, No. 59.
(updated 21 August 2011, 6 October 2013)