Mesodina cyanophracta Lower, 1911
Blue Iris Skipper
TRAPEZITINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

The Caterpillar of this species is fawn with a dark dorsal line, and with a hairy head and tail, and is generally covered in a white waxy powder. The caterpillar grows to a length of about 2 cms. It constructs a shelter, joining leaves of its foodplant together to make a vertical tube with the opening at the bottom. It feeds on Irises in the genus Patersonia (IRIDACEAE) including:

  • Long Purple Flag ( Patersonia occidentalis ).

    Pupation occurs within the shelter, with the pupa resting with the head downward.

    The adult butterflies are dark brown with three white patches on each forewing. The undersides are similar but paler and patchier. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 3 cms.


    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    This species occurs in

  • Western Australia.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 185-186.

    Oswald B. Lower,
    Revision of the Australian Hesperiadae,
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
    Volume 35 (1911), p. 119, No. 10.

    Andrew A.E. Williams and Andrew F. Atkins,
    The life history of the Western Australian skipper 'Mesodina cyanophracta' Lower (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae),
    The Australian Entomologist, Volume 23, Issue 2 (September 1996), pp. 49-54.


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    (updated 19 March 2004, 2 March 2017)