Trapezites eliena (Hewitson, 1868)
Orange Ochre
(one synonym : Telesto caecilius Plötz, 1884)
TRAPEZITINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Trapezites eliena
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

The Caterpillar of this species is greenish or pinkish brown, with faint stripes and a speckled appearance. It feeds on:

  • Common Mat-rush ( Lomandra confertifolia ),
  • Narrow Mat-Rush ( Lomandra filiformis ),
  • Spiny Headed Mat-rush ( Lomandra longifolia ), and
  • Many-flowered Mat-rush ( Lomandra multiflora ),

    all of ASPARAGACEAE.

    Trapezites eliena
    head: magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    It lives in a shelter at the base of a foodplant constructed out of silk and leaves. The Caterpillar grows to a length of about 4 cms.

    Trapezites eliena
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    The Caterpillar pupates in the shelter. The pupa is brown with black spots on the mesothorax. It has a length of about 2 cms.

    Trapezites eliena
    (Photo: courtesy of Nick Monaghan, Mt. Tinbeerwah, Queensland)

    The upper side of the adult butterfly is brown with a series of cream and yellow spots on each forewing, and a large yellow band on each hindwing. Underneath, the forewings are similar but redder, and the hind wings are russet, each with a number of variable small white spots, each of which is outlined in black. The wing span is about 3 cms.

    Trapezites eliena
    (Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, South Stradbroke Island, Queensland)

    The males of this species are inclined to congregate around hill tops.

    The species is found along the Great Divide in:

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


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, p 110.

    William Chapman Hewitson,
    Hesperidae,
    Descriptions of One Hundred new species of Hesperidae,
    London, Part 1 (1867), p. 32, No. 24.


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    (updated 16 September 2010, 21 September 2013)