Dispar compacta (Butler, 1882)
Barred Skipper
(one synonym : Telesto scepticalis Rosenstock, 1885)
TRAPEZITINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Dispar compacta
male
(Photo: courtesy of Martin Purvis, Sydney, New South Wales)

This Caterpillar is a greenish or pinkish fawn colour with darker markings and small white spots, and a black head. It grows to about 2 cms. It feeds nocturnally on various monocotyledons including :

  • Sawsedge ( Gahnia species, CYPERACEAE )
  • Grass ( Poa species, POACEAE ), and
  • Mat-Rush ( Lomandra species, ASPARAGACEAE ).

    By day it rests in a shelter made from leaves and silk at the base of a foodplant.

    Dispar compacta
    (Photo: courtesy of Nick Monaghan)

    The adult butterfly is dark brown with several white spots on each wing. Underneath, the wings are pale brown with several white spots. The hind wings underneath are paler brown with white spots. The female has some dark marks underneath. The male has a black line (sex brand) half way across the top of each fore wing. The wing span is about 3 cms.

    The species may be found in:

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria, and
  • South Australia.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp 123-124.

    Arthur G. Butler,
    On a small collection of Lepidoptera from Melbourne,
    Annals and Magazine of Natural History,
    Series 5, Volume 9 (1882), p. 87, No. 9 (95).


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    (updated 19 March 2011, 21 September 2013)