Hesperilla chrysotricha (Meyrick and Lower, 1902)
Chrysotricha Skipper
(one synonym : Telesto cyclospila Meyrick & Lower, 1902)
TRAPEZITINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

This Caterpillar is yellowish with a pinkish 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 4 cms. It lives and feeds on various species of Sword Grass ( CYPERACEAE ) including :

  • Weeping Saw Sedge ( Gahnia decomposita ),
  • Heathy Saw Sedge ( Gahnia deusta ),
  • Thatching Grass ( Gahnia filum ),
  • Slender Saw Sedge ( Gahnia microstachya ),
  • Thatch Saw Sedge ( Gahnia radula ),
  • Red Fruit Saw Sedge ( Gahnia sieberiana ), and
  • Twine Rush ( Gahnia trifida ).

    The Caterpillar creates a shelter from silk and leaves of the foodplant in which it rests by day, feeding nocturnally.

    Pupation occurs in the shelter.


    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Museum Victoria)

    The adult butterfly is dark brown with several white spots on each fore wing. The male has a black line (sex brand) half way across the top of each fore wing. There is a yellow patch on each hind wing. Underneath, the fore wings are half pale brown and half dark brown, with several pale yellow spots. The hind wings underneath are yellow with one separate outlined white spot near the base, and an arc of about eight subterminal outlined white spots. The male wing span is about 3.5 cms. The female is slightly larger.


    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Museum Victoria)

    Eggs are pale green, and laid singly on leaves of a foodplant.

    The species may be found in small pockets in :

  • Victoria,
  • Tasmania,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia,

    as several races including :

  • cyclospila Meyrick and Lower, 1902,
  • leucosplila Waterhouse, 1927, and
  • naua Couchman, 1949.

  • Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby, Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 156-158.


    previous
    back
    caterpillar
    Australian
    Australian Butterflies
    butterflies
    Australian
    home
    caterpillars
    Australian
    Australian Moths
    moths
    next
    next
    caterpillar

    (updated 25 July 2004, 21 September 2013)