Southern Silver Ochre Skipper
(previously known as Telesto praxedes)
TRAPEZITINAE , HESPERIIDAE , HESPERIOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Martin Purvis, Sydney, New South Wales)
This Caterpillar is reddish or greenish brown, with a faint dorsal line. The head is brown with white dots. It lives in a shelter made at the foot of a foodplant. It has been found feeding on various species of Mat-Rush ( ASPARAGACEAE ) :
The pupa is rust colored with black markings, and is covered in a white waxy powder. It is formed in the larval shelter or a curled leaf nearby.
The adult butterfly is dark brown with several yellow patches on each fore wing, and a single yellow patch on each hind wing. The underside of each fore wing is similar to the upper surface but paler.
The hind wings of the male underneath are brown with light and dark brown patches. The hind wings of the female underneath are brown with outlined white spots. The wing span is about 3 cms.
The butterflies make quite a loud humming noise as they chase each other around. The humming is really loud. Martin Purvis reported that at one point there were about 4 of these things zipping around near his head, and it was like being surrounded by hummingbirds.
The eggs are white and dome shaped. They are laid singly on the bases of leaf stems.
The species is found along the coastal plains of
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp 96-97.
Die Hesperiinen-Gattung Telesto Hüb., und ihre Arten,
Stettiner Entomologische Zeitung,
Volume 45, Parts 10-12 (1884), p. 378, No. 5.
(updated 20 March 2011, 26 September 2013)