Sandy Grass Dart
(previously known as Apaustus dolon)
HESPERIINAE, HESPERIIDAE, HESPERIOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)
Early instars of these Caterpillars are green with black heads.
Late instars develop two white oval outlines on the head.
The caterpillars have beeen found feeding on
Each caterpillar lives in a shelter formed by joining the outer edges of a leaf blade together with threads of silk, so that the result sometimes looks like a silk ladder.
The caterpillar rests facing upwards inside the shelter.
The pupa is oval, with a dark brown head, and a pale brown thorax shading into a greenish abdomen. The pupa is formed in the leafy shelter, but is unattached, remaining in position by friction. The length of the pupa is about 1.2 cms.
The adult butterflies are brown, with orange patches.
The undersides of the wings are a patchy orange with the same pattern of spots as on the top surfaces, only less pronounced. The males have a grey patch on the upper surface of each forewing. The antennae are clubbed, unlike the flattish and pointed antennae tip of other HESPERIIDAE. The adults of this species have a wingspan of about 2 cms.
This species occurs as the subspecies :
The eggs are white and laid singly on leaves of a foodplant. The eggs are dome-shaped, and intially white. After a few days they develop red patches.
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 197-198.
Die Hesperiinen-Gattung Apaustus Hüb., und ihre Arten,
Stettiner Entomologische Zeitung,
Volume 45, Parts 4-6 (1884), p. 165, No. 59.
Life history notes on the River-sand Grass-dart Taractrocera dolon (Poltz, 1884) Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae,
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club,
Issue 93 (June 2019), pp. 22-26.
(updated 19 March 2011, 6 October 2013, 23 July 2019, 4 June 2020)