Tagiades nestus (C. Felder, 1860)
Nestus Flat
(previously known as: Pterygospidea nestus)
PYRGINAE,   HESPERIIDAE,   HESPERIOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

These caterpillars are off-white and are covered in small white spots. there are two larger white spots on the back of the 9th abdominal segment, and the head is black and heart-shaped. The caterpillars of this species have been found feeding on the leaves of:

  • Yam Vines ( Dioscorea species, DIOSCORACEAE ).

    The caterpillars nibble pieces out of the margins of the leaves leaving characteristic scalloped edges to the foliage. The caterpillars live in shelters composed of pairs of such leaves joined with silk.

    The adults of this species have a characteristic white abdomen. They have dark brown forewings each with a series of white spots, and hindwings that fade from dark brown to white on the trailing edge, each with two dark brown spots. The underside is nearly identical to the upper surface. The wing span is about 4 cms.

    This species is found as various races in

  • Indonesia,
  • Papua New Guinea,

    and as the race korela Mabille, 1891, in Australia on

  • islands in the Torres Strait.


    Further reading :

    Baron Cajetan von Felder,
    Lepidopterorum Amboienensium species novae diagnosibus,
    Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien,
    Volume 40, Series 11 (1860), p. 461, No. 50.

    Paul Mabille,
    Description d'Hespérides Nouvelles,
    Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de Belgique,
    Volume 35, Part 16 (1891), p. lxxii.

    Peter S. Valentine and Stephen J. Johnson,
    The rediscovery of Tagiades nestus (C. Felder) (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae: Pyrginae) in Australia,
    Australian Entomologist,
    Volume 32 (2005), Part 4, pp. 155-156.


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    (updated 27 August 2006, 15 September 2017)