Taractrocera ina Waterhouse, 1932
No-brand Grass-dart
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

Taractrocera ina
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

This Caterpillar is pale green. The head is initially black, later becoming black and white.

Taractrocera ina
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

The caterpillar has sparse hairs on its tail, and lives in a tubular shelter made of leaves of its food plant, which is one of many species of Grass ( POACEAE ), including :

  • Lemon Grass ( Cymbopogon citrata ),
  • Rice ( Oryza sativa ),
  • Guinea Grass ( Panicum maximum ),
  • Buffalo Grass ( Paspalum conjugatum ),
  • Wild Sorghum ( Sorghum verticilliflorum ), and
  • Signal Grass ( Urochloa decumbens ).

    Taractrocera ina
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    In summer in the tropics, the caterpillar matures in about four weeks. It pupates in its grass shelter. The pupa goes through a stage with a cream abdomen and brown wing covering. The pupa has a length of about 1.5 cms. The pupal period in summer is about eleven days.

    Taractrocera ina
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    The adult butterfly on top is brown with orange markings. Underneath, it is dull yellow with pale yellow markings It has a wingspan of about 2 cms.

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

    The species is found in inland areas of Australia, including

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia.

    The eggs are white and hemispherical, with no ribs. They stay white throughout their development until they hatch. In Mackay in October, the eggs hatch in six days.

    Taractrocera ina
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 196-197.

    Wesley Jenkinson,
    Life history notes on the No-brand Grass-dart, Taractrocera ina ( Waterhouse, 1932) Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 60 (March 2011), pp. 21-24.

    Gustavus Athol Waterhouse,
    Australian Hesperiidae,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Volume 57 (1932), pp. 228-229.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 28 October 2009, 29 September 2013, 8 July 2019)