Toxidia melania (Waterhouse, 1903)
Black Skipper
(previously known as Telesto melania)
TRAPEZITINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

This Caterpillar is a purplish-fawn colour with yellow lines, and a brown head. It lives in a shelter by day, constructed by rolling a leaf into a tube or joining several leaves together. At dusk and near dawn, it feeds on various Grasses ( POACEAE ).


Female
(Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

The adults on top are dark brown. On each forewing, the females have two white spots, and the males have a white edged black sex brand.


Male
(Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

Underneath, the forewings each have a small white spot near the centre, an the hindwings have several arcs of pale spots.


Female, underside
(Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

The butterflies have a wing span of about 3 cms.


Male, underside
(Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

They occur in the tropical rainforests of t

  • Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, p 135.

    Gustavus Athol Waterhouse,
    Descriptions and notes of Australian Hesperidae, chiefly Victorian,
    Victorian Naturalist,
    Volume 20, Part 4 (1903), p. 54.


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    (written 4 November 2001, 29 september 2013)