Eastern Iris Skipper
(previously known as Hesperilla halyzia)
TRAPEZITINAE, HESPERIIDAE, HESPERIOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Nick Monaghan, Tewantin, Queensland)
The caterpillar of this species is pale green, and covered in a white powder. The head is large and black with thick white hairs. It feeds on various plants in IRIDACEAE including:
The Caterpillar constructs a shelter by joining leaves with silk, with an opening at the bottom. The Caterpillar emerges to feed typically at dusk and at dawn, leaving characteristic triangular gaps n the leaves.
The Caterpillar pupates head downward in its shelter.
The upper side of the adult butterfly is dark brown with a patch of white spots on each fore wing. Each wing also has a chequered border. Underneath, the wings are fawn with white patches under the fore wings, and dark outlined spots under each hind wing. The wing span is about 3 cms.
Eggs are pale yellow and are dome-shaped with about 30 microscopic ribs. The eggs have a diameter of about 1 mm. The eggs are laid singly on leaves of a foodplant.
The species is found in small pockets around the coast of mainland Australia in
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 182-183.
William Chapman Hewitson,
Descriptions of One Hundred new species of Hesperidae,
London, Part 1 (1868), p. 38, No. 1.
(updated 20 March 2011, 27 September 2013, 28 May 2020, 13 September 2021)