Varied Sedge Skipper
TRAPEZITINAE, HESPERIIDAE, HESPERIOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of P. and M. Coupar, Museum Victoria)
This Caterpillar is green, with a dark dorsal line. The head is brown with a dark wedge shaped mark and two dark stripes. The caterpillar feeds on various species of Sword Grass (CYPERACEAE), depending on locality, including :
The Caterpillar constructs a shelter using silk, rolling or joining leaves of the foodplant. By day it lives in its shelter, enmerging at night to feed.
It pupates in its shelter.
The adult butterfly is dark brown with a yellow patch and and some white spots on each fore wing, and a yellow patch on each hind wing. The males have a patch of grey on each forewing.
Underneath, the wings are fawn coloured, with white and yellow patches under the forewings, and an arc of white dots edged in black under each hindwing. The wingspan of the males is about 3 cms. That of the females is about 3.5 cms.
The eggs are white and laid singly under a leaf of a foodplant.
The species is found in a number of pockets around the southern half of Australia, with a number of races adapted to various climates from the seashore to the mountains, including :
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 152-154.
New Distribution Records for Ceoliadine and Trapezitine Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) in Australia,
Issue 79 (December 2015), pp. 13-31,
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.
William Chapman Hewitson,
Descriptions of One Hundred new species of Hesperidae,
London, Part 1 (1867), p. 39, No. 3.
(updated 2 February 2010, 21 September 2013, 28 May 2020)