Toxidia doubledayi (C. Felder 1862)
Lilac Grass Skipper
(one synonym : Telesto leachii C. Felder, 1862)
TRAPEZITINAE,   HESPERIIDAE,   HESPERIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Toxidia doubledayi
female
(Photo: courtesy of Martin Purvis, Sydney, New South Wales)

This Caterpillar is greenish pink, with a dark dorsal line. The head is brown with indistinct markings. It feeds at night on various species of

  • Grass (POACEAE),

    and rests by day in a shelter constructed from a curled leaf held with silk.

    Toxidia doubledayi
    (Photo: courtesy of Nick Monaghan, Victoria)

    The adult butterfly is dark brown with some white spots on each forewing, including a short white bar on the termen near the tip.

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

    The male has a yellow patch on each hindwing, and a grey line across part of the upper surface of each forewing. Underneath, the wings of the male are fawn coloured, with white and yellow patches under the forewings, and dark markings under each hindwing. The female underneath is reddish brown with white and yellow patches under the forewings and a white bar across each hindwing. The wing span is about 3 cms.

    Toxidia doubledayi
    egg, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Ken Walker, Melbourne, Victoria)

    The eggs are dome-shaped with about a dozen ribs, and are initially pale yellow, developing coloured patches as hatching approaches. The eggs have a diameter of about 0.8 mm. They are laid singly on the underside of leaves of a foodplant.

    The species may be found in the mountains and on the coastal plain of the east coast of Australia, including:

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales, and
  • Victoria.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp 131-132.

    Baron Cajetan von Felder,
    Verzeichniss der von den Naturforschern der k. k. Fregatte Novara gesammelten Macropepidoteren,
    Verhandlungen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien,
    Volume 12, Parts 1/2 (1862), p. 491.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 231.


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    (updated 20 March 2011, 2 October 2013, 5 June 2020)