Taractrocera anisomorpha (Lower, 1911)
Orange Grass Dart
(previously known as Bibla anisomorpha)
HESPERIINAE,   HESPERIIDAE,   HESPERIOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Taractrocera anisomorpha
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

This Caterpillar is pale green with a brown dorsal line. The head has white and brown stripes.

Taractrocera anisomorpha
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

The caterpillar has been found feeding on plants in the Grass family (POACEAE), including :

  • Silky Browntop ( Eulalia aurea ),
  • Tufted Bristlegrass ( Setaria paspalidioides ), and
  • Sorghum ( Sorghum bicolor ).

    Taractrocera anisomorpha
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    The caterpillar grows to a length of about 2 cms. It rests, and in due course pupates, in a shelter created amongst food-plant leaves. The shelter is sometimes composed of twisted leaves, and sometimes straight leaves.

    Taractrocera anisomorpha
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    The adult butterflies of this species are dark brown on top with orange markings. The wingspan is usually a bit over 2 cms. The females are a little larger than the males, and have a more convex forewing margin.

    Taractrocera anisomorpha
    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    Underneath, they are yellow with pale yellow markings, although the forewings are darker toward the trailing edges.

    The species may be found in open eucalypt forest over the northern half of Australia, including:

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia.

    Taractrocera anisomorpha
    egg, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    The eggs are white and hemispherical, with no ribs. They stay white throughout their development until they hatch.

    Taractrocera anisomorpha
    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 194-195.

    Wesley Jenkinson,
    Life history notes on the Large Yellow Grass-Dart Taractrocera anisomorpha (Lower, 1911) Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 95 (December 2019), pp. 19-23,

    Oswald B. Lower,
    Revision of the Australian Hesperiadae,
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
    Volume 35 (1911), p. 146, No. 68.


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    (updated 18 February 2010, 22 September 2013, 8 July 2019, 25 May 2020)