Trapezites petalia (Hewitson, 1868)
Common White Spot Skipper
(previously known as Hesperia petalia)
TRAPEZITINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

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

The Caterpillars of this species are stout and brown. They have indistinct dark lines, and a mottled head with central depression. They feed on various species of Mat-Rush ( ASPARAGACEAE ) :

  • Mat Rush ( Lomandra filiformis ),
  • Spiny Headed Mat Rush ( Lomandra longifolia ), and
  • Many-flowered Mat Rush ( Lomandra multiflora ),

    growing to a length of about 3 cms.

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

    The adults are dark brown, with white, cream, and yellow spots on the forewings and an orange patch on each hindwing. The undersides of the forewings are similar, but the hindwings each have a black-edged white spot in the middle. They butterflies have a wing span of about 3 cms.

    The eggs are dome-shaped, and are pale yellow with red markings. They are laid singly on near the base of a leaf of a foodplant.

    This species occurs in :

  • Queensland and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp 107.

    William Chapman Hewitson,
    Hesperidae,
    Descriptions of One Hundred new species of Hesperidae,
    London, Part 1 (1868), pp. 32-33, No. 25.


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    (updated 18 November 2009)