Toxidia peron (Latreille, [1824])
Large Dingy Skipper
(erroneously : Hesperia peroni)
TRAPEZITINAE,   HESPERIIDAE,   HESPERIOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Peter Samson & Stella Crossley

Toxidia peron
(Photo copyright: Peter Samson)

These Caterpillars can be either green or brown, with a black head, and a number of vague dark lines along the body. The caterpillars grow to a length of about 3 cms. They feed on various monocotyledons, including :

  • Mat-rush ( Lomandra, ASPARAGACEAE ),
  • Flax Lily ( Dianella species, ASPHODELACEAE ),
  • Saw Sedge ( Gahnia sieberiana, CYPERACEAE ), and
  • St. Augustine Grass ( Stenotaphrum secundatum, POACEAE ).

    The caterpillars construct a series of shelters by folding or joining leaves and securing them with silk. The caterpillars come out to feed at night, and rest by day in their shelter with the head upright, unlike some other Hesperiidae larvae. The caterpillars grow to a length of about 3 cms. The caterpillar pupates in the final shelter. The pupa is covered in a white waxy powder, and has a length of about 2 cms.

    Toxidia peron
    female
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The adults are dark brown with a few white spots. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 3 cms.

    Toxidia peron
    male
    (Picture: courtesy of CSIRO Entomology)

    The males also have black and white streaks on the forewings.

    Toxidia peron
    egg, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Ken Walker, Narrabeen, New South Wales)

    The eggs are laid singly on the underside of a food-plant leaf or nearby. The eggs are hemi-spherical, with prominent ridges. The eggs have a diameter of about 1 mm. Initially they are cream coloured, later developing pink markings.

    The species is found in :

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales, and
  • Victoria.

    Toxidia peron
    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Nick Monaghan)


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, p 138.

    Wesley Jenkinson,
    Life history notes on the Dingy Grass-skipper, Toxidia peron (Latreille, [1824]) Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 89 (June 2018), pp. 18-21,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    Pierre André Latreille,
    Histoire Naturelle: Entomologie,
    in Godart:
    Encylopédie Méthodique,
    Volume 9, Part 2 (1824), p. 763.


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    (updated 19 March 2011, 29 September 2013, 8 Decemeber 2015, 17 March 2019, 6 June 2020, 5 September 2021)