Anisynta cynone (Hewitson, [1874])
Cynone Skipper
(one synonym : Hesperilla gracilis Tepper, 1882)
TRAPEZITINAE,   HESPERIIDAE,   HESPERIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley

These Caterpillars are greyish with a brown head and thorax, and have a dark line down the back, and a white line along each side. The caterpillars grow to a length of about 2 cms. They live in a shelter constructed from a folded leaf secured with silk. The caterpillars feed nocturnally on various grasses from the family POACEAE, including :

  • Rough Spear-grass ( Austrostipa scabra ),
  • False Brome ( Brachypodium distachyon ),
  • Couch ( Cynodon dactylon ),
  • Smilo Grass ( Piptatherum miliaceum ), and
  • Grey Tussock Grass ( Poa sieberiana ).


    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The adults are dark brown on top, with cream spots on each forewing. Underneath, they are brown with a pale area under each forewing costa, and white spots under each hindwing. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 2 cms.


    underside, drawing by William Chapman Hewitson, listed as Cyclopides cynone,
    Illustrations of New Species of Exotic Butterflies,
    Volume 5 (1874), Plate 61, fig. 17,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    This species are found in :

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

    as various races:

  • cynone,
  • gunneda Couchman, 1954,
  • gracilis (Tepper, 1882), and
  • grisea Waterhouse, 1932.

  • Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp 115-116.

    William Chapman Hewitson,
    Cyclopides & Hesperilla,
    Illustrations of new species of exotic butterflies,
    London, Volume 5 (1874), p. 121, No. 17, and also Plate 61, fig. 17.


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    (updated 25 July 2004, 22 September 2013, 16 May 2020)