Trapezites lutea (Tepper, 1882)
Rare White Spot Skipper
(previously known as Hesperilla luteus)
TRAPEZITINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Trapezites lutea
(Photo: courtesy of Jenny Holmes, Great Western, Victoria )

This Caterpillar is greenish or pinkish grey, with dark dorsal and dorsolateral lines. The head is brown with a black stripe down the middle and down each side. It lives in a shelter formed by leaves loosely joined together with silk. It feeds on various species of Mat-Rush ( LAXMANNIACEAE ) :

  • Common Mat-rush ( Lomandra confertifolia ),
  • Pointed Mat-rush ( Lomandra densiflora ),
  • Narrow Mat-rush ( Lomandra filiformis ),
  • Spiny Headed Mat-rush ( Lomandra longifolia ), and
  • Many-flowered Mat-rush ( Lomandra multiflora ).

    Before pupating it goes for a walkabout for several days, and then pupates in a shelter of leaves joined with silk.

    Trapezites lutea
    (Photo: courtesy of Jenny Holmes, Great Western, Victoria )

    The adult butterfly is dark brown with a series of white and yellow patches on each fore wing. The hind wings each have an indistinct yellow patch. Underneath, the they are orange, with the same white spots as on the upper surface, but with a large rounded triangular dark brown patch under each fore wing, and one or more small white spots under each hind wing. The wing span is about 3 cms.

    Trapezites lutea
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Museum Victoria)

    The species occurs as two main subspecies :

  • lutea on the slopes of the mountains of New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia,
    and
  • glaucus in Tasmania.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp 99-100.


    previous
    back
    caterpillar
    Australian
    Australian Butterflies
    butterflies
    Australian
    home
    caterpillars
    Australian
    Australian Moths
    moths
    next
    next
    caterpillar

    (updated 6 July 2010, 21 September 2013)