Heath Sand Skipper
(previously known as Telsto chaostola)
TRAPEZITINAE, HESPERIIDAE, HESPERIOIDEA
This Caterpillar is yellowish with a red prothorax, and a dark dorsal line. The head is hairy and dark brown with two pale bands. The caterpillar grows to a length of about 3 cms. By day it rests head down in a conical shelter made from foodplant leaves joined by silk. The entrance is at the bottom. It feeds nocturnally on various species of Sword Grass ( CYPERACEAE ) including :
The pupa is formed in the shelter, head down.
When it emerges, the adult butterfly on top is dark brown with several white spots on each forewing. There is a suffused yellow patch on each hindwing. The males have a black patch on each forewing. Underneath, the wings are black with a grey wingtip, a pale yellow triangle extending from the base to halfway along the costa, and several white spots. The hindwings underneath are grey with a number of indistinct outlined grey spots. The wingspan is about 3 cms.
The species may be found in small pockets as several races :
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby, Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 168-169.
Descriptions of new Australian Rhopalocera,
Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
Series 2, Volume 2 (1888), p. 830.
(updated 2 May 2005, 22 September 2013, 17 May 2020)