Ocybadistes hypomeloma Lower, 1911
Pale Orange Dart
(one synonym : Padraona vaga)
HESPERIINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

This Caterpillar is pale green. The head is brown with four vertical black stripes. It feeds on various grasses ( POACEAE ) including :

  • Large Bluegrass ( Ischaemum australe ),
  • Snow Grass ( Microlaena stipoides ), and
  • Kangaroo Grass ( Themeda triandra ).

    The Caterpillar makes a shelter by joining leaves together with silk, in which it rest by day, and from which it emerges to feed at night. It grows to a length of about 3 cms.

    It pupates in its shelter or ground debris nearby.


    (Specimen: courtesy of The Australian Museum)

    The adult butterfly on top is dark brown with orange patches. The males have a black zig-zag line on each forewing. The wing span is about 2 cms.


    (Specimen: courtesy of The Australian Museum)

    The undersides are similar to the upper surfaces, but paler and patchier.


    underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of The Australian Museum)

    The eggs are white with red markings. They are laid singly on the underside of a leaf of a foodplant.

    The species is found along the north and east of Australia as two subspecies :

  • hypomeloma in Queensland and New South Wales, and
  • vaga in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.


    (Photo: courtesy of Chris, taken in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney)


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 201-202.

    Oswald B. Lower,
    Revision of the Australian Hesperiadae,
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
    Volume 35 (1911), pp. 152-153.


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    (updated 3 June 2009, 28 September 2013)