Hesperilla ornata (Leach, 1814)
Spotted Skipper
(previously known as Hesperia ornata)
TRAPEZITINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Peter R. Samson & Stella Crossley

Hesperilla ornata
(Photo copyright: Peter Samson)

This is a smooth pale green Caterpillar with stripes along the body, and a pink tinge on the last two segments. It has a brown head with a black mark down the middle. It lives in a tubular shelter made by joining leaves of its foodplant together with silk.

It feeds on a variety of plants from the genera :

  • Carex ( True Sedges ), and
  • Gahnia ( Saw Sedges ),

    both of CYPERACEAE .

    The Caterpillar lives in its shelter by day and feeds nocturnally, growing to a length of about 3 cms.

    Hesperilla ornata
    (Photo copyright: Peter Samson)

    It pupates in its tubular shelter. The pupa has a length of about 2.5 cms.

    Hesperilla ornata
    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The adult butterfly has brown wings, with white spots on the forewings, and orange marks on the hind wings. The adults have a wingspan of about 4 cms.

    Hesperilla ornata
    underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The undersides of the wings are white with black markings. The underside of the body has black and white stripes.

    Hesperilla ornata
    (Photo: courtesy of Ken Harris, Morwell Park, Victoria)

    The species is found along the non-tropical eastern seaboard of mainland Australia, and in the adjacent mountain ranges, as two subspecies :

  • ornata in Victoria, New South Wales, and southern Queensland, and
  • monotherm Lower, 1907, in northern Queensland.

    The eggs are white and laid singly on the underside of a leaf of a foodplant.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp 146-147.

    William Elford Leach,
    Hesperia,
    Zoological Miscellany,
    Volume 1 (1814) p. 126, and also Plate 55, Figs 1,2,6..

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 226.


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

    (updated 24 December 2009, 27 September 2013)