Croitana croites (Hewitson,[1874])
Croites Skipper
(one synonym : Mesodina pindar Waterhouse, 1932)
TRAPEZITINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


drawing by William Chapman Hewitson, listed as Cyclopides croites,
Cyclopides & Hesperilla, Illustrations of new species of exotic butterflies,
London, Volume 5 (1874), Plate 61, fig. 14,
image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

This Caterpillar is greenish-brown, with a dark line aong the back, and pale lines along each side. The head is orange. It grows to length of about 2.5 cms. It feeds on various species of Speargrass including:

  • Elegant Speargrass ( Austrostipa elegantissima,
  • Yellow Speargrass ( Austrostipa flavescens ) , and
  • Flatawn Speargrass ( Austrostipa platychaeta ),

    all of POACEAE. It makes a shelter from a rolled leaf of the foodplant, in which it rests by day, head down. It feeds in early morning and late afternoon. It pupates in the shelter, also head down.

    The adult butterfly has forewing topsides that are dark brown with various orange spots and patches. The males have no sex-brand in this species. The hind wings are also dark brown but each has a large central orange patch. The upper surfaces of all the wings have chequered margins. Underneath, the forewings are orange with two dark brown patches amd two white spots. The hind wings underneath are orange with several pale brown patches and spots. The wing span is about 2.5 cms.

    The eggs are yellow and laid singly on the upper surface of a leaf of a foodplant.

    The species has been found in the southern half of Western Australia.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby, Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 177-178.

    William Chapman Hewitson,
    Cyclopides & Hesperilla,
    Illustrations of new species of exotic butterflies,
    London, Volume 5 (1874), p.121,, and also Plate 61, fig. 14.


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    (updated 19 March 2004, 22 September 2013)