Telicota ohara (Plötz, 1883)
Dark Darter
(previously known as Hesperia ohara)
HESPERIINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

This Caterpillar is green with a dark dorsal line and a brown head. It grows to a length of about 4 cms. It constructs a shelter from a rolled leaf in which it hides by day. At night it emerges to feed on the base of the leaves around the shelter. It feeds on a variety of monocotyledons, including:

  • Bermuda Grass ( Cynodon dactylon, POACEAE ),
  • Palmgrass ( Setaria palmifolia, POACEAE ),
  • RiceOryza sativa, POACEAE ), and
  • Supplejack ( Flagellaria indica, COMMELINACEAE ).

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

    The adults are brown, with orange patches. The males have a grey patch on each forewing. The undersides of the forewings are similar, but the hindwings are a more uniform brown underneath. The butterflies have a wing span of about 2 cms.

    The eggs are cream, changing to orange. They are laid singly of the tips of foodplant leaves.

    This species occurs as various subspecies over much of south-east Asia, from India to the Philippines, including

  • Indonesia,
  • Malaysia,
  • Taiwan,

    and also the coastal plains of north-east Australia in

  • Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby, Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 223-224.

    Carl Plötz,
    Die Hesperiinen-Gattung Apaustus Hüb., und ihre Arten,
    Stettiner Entomologische Zeitung,
    Volume 44, Parts 4-6 (1883), p. 226, No. 488.


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    (updated 25 October 2009, 29 September 2013)