Taractrocera ina Waterhouse, 1932
No-brand Grass-dart
HESPERIINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
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 ),
  • Guinea Grass ( Panicum maximum ),
  • Buffalo Grass ( Paspalum conjugatum ),
  • Arm Grass ( Urochloa decumbens ),
  • Rice ( Oryza sativa ), and
  • Wild Sorghum ( Sorghum verticilliflorum ).

    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
    (Specimen: courtesy of The Australian Museum)

    The species is found in inland areas of Australia, including

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

    Taractrocera ina
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO Entomology)

    The eggs are white and hemispherical, with no ribs. 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,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 60 (March 2011), pp. 21-24,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

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


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    (updated 28 October 2009, 29 September 2013)