Suniana lascivia (Rosenstock, 1885)
Dingy Dart
(previously known as Pamphila lascivia)
HESPERIINAE,   HESPERIIDAE,   HESPERIOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley

This Caterpillar is pale green with dark narrow stripes. The head is brown with dark markings. The caterpillar lives by day in a vertical shelter formed by joining foodplanrt leaves with silk. At night it emerges to feed, being found on various grasses (POACEAE) including :

  • Blady Grass ( Imperata cylindrica ),
  • Large Bluegrass ( Ischaemum australe ), and
  • Guinea Grass ( Panicum maximum ).

    It grows to a length of about 2.5 cms. It pupates in its shelter.


    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Museum Victoria)

    The upper side of the adult butterfly is dark brown with yellow bands across each wing. The males have a black patch in middle of each forewing. Underneath, the wings are fawn with a pale patch under each wing, and large dark patch under each forewing. The wing span is about 2 cms.


    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Museum Victoria)

    The eggs are cream with red markings, and are laid singly on leaves of a foodplant.


    male, underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Museum Victoria)

    The species is found in

  • Timor,
  • New Guinea,

    and in mainland Australia as several races including

  • lasus Waterhouse, 1937, in the north of Western Australia and western Northern Territory,
  • larrakia Couchman, 1951, in Western Australia, and Northern Teritory,
  • neocles (Mabille, 1891) in north Queensland, and
  • lascivia in southern Queensland, and New South Wales, and Victoria.


    female, underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Museum Victoria)


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 209-210.

    Rudolph Rosenstock,
    Notes on Australian Lepidoptera, with descriptions of new species,
    Annals and Magazine of Natural History,
    Volume 5, Part 16 (1885), pp. 378-379, and also Plate 11, fig. 1.


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    (updated 25 July 2004, 29 September 2013, 14 September 2020)