Trapezites phigalia (Hewitson, 1868)
Heath Ochre Skipper
(one synonym : Telesto phlaea Plötz, 1884)
TRAPEZITINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Trapezites phigalia
(Photo: courtesy of Martin Purvis, Sydney, New South Wales)

These Caterpillars are grey with dark stripes and a dark brown head. The Caterpillars feed on:

  • Dense Mat-Rush ( Lomandra densiflora ),
  • Mount Lofty Mat Rush ( Lomandra fibrata ),
  • Mat-Rush ( Lomandra filiformis ),
  • Blue Mat-Rush ( Lomandra glauca ),
  • Dwarf Mat-Rush ( Lomandra nana ),
  • Fish Bones ( Lomandra obliqua ), and
  • Small Mat Rush ( Lomandra sororia ),

    all of ASPARAGACEAE. The Caterpillars create a silken shelter at the base of their food plant, emerging at night to feed.

    Trapezites phigalia
    female
    (Specimen: courtesy of Museum Victoria)

    The adult butterfly is dark brown with a series of yellow and orange patches on each fore wing. The hind wings each have aa rectangular yellow patch. Underneath, the they are grey, with the same spots as on the upper surface, but with a dark brown patch and an orange streak under each fore wing, and half a dozen small white spots under each hind wing. The wing span is about 3 cms.

    Trapezites phigalia
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Museum Victoria)

    The species occurs as several subspecies in the mountains and coastal areas of south eastern Australia, including:

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


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp 91-92.

    William Chapman Hewitson,
    Hesperidae,
    Descriptions of One Hundred new species of Hesperidae,
    London, Part 1 (1867), p. 32, No. 22.


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    (updated 18 November 2009, 21 September 2013)