Mesodina gracillima E.D. Edwards, 1987
Northern Iris Skipper
TRAPEZITINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


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

The Caterpillar of this species feeds on :

  • Long-flowered Purple Flag ( Patersonia macrantha, IRIDACEAE ).

    The caterpillar lives in a vertical shelter made by joining foodplant leaves with silk, with the opening at the base. The caterpillar rests in its shelter head downward by day, emerging at night to feed, eating triangular pieces out of the leaves.

    It pupates, head downward, in its shelter.

    The adult butterflies have a wingspan of about 3 cms. They are dark brown, with a number of white spots on each forewing. Underneath they are paler, with the same pattern of white spots on the forewings, but a series af dark curved dashes under each hindwing.

    This species occurs in Australia in

  • Northern Territory.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 184-185.

    Ted Edwards,
    A new species of Mesodina Meyrick from the Northern Territory (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae),
    Australian Entomological Magazine,
    Volume 14 (1987), p. 5, figs. 13-16, 20, 24.


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    (updated 24 June 2003, 2 March 2017)