White Brand Skipper
(previously known as Telesto rietmanni)
TRAPEZITINAE, HESPERIIDAE, HESPERIOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)
This Caterpillar is initially green with a black head. As the caterpillar matures, it becomes brown with obscure darker lines along the body. The head is a mottled dark brown. The caterpillar folds leaves or joins leaves together with silk, to make a tubular shelter in which it rests by day, facing downwards. The caterpillar emerges to feed at night, feeding on a number of grasses (POACEAE), and is thought to favour:
As the caterpillar grows, it constructs larger shelters for itself. The caterpillar grows to a length of about 2 cms. It pupates in its last shelter.
The adult butterfly of this species has brown wings, with two or three white splotches on each forewing. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 2.5 cms.
The male butterfly has a sex brand consisting of a white zigzag line outlined in black on each forewing.
The eggs are laid singly, usually on foodplant leaves. The eggs are hemispherical with ribs, and initially are white. Ater a few days they develop reddish markings.
Two main races of this species are found along the east coast of Australia :
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp 132-133.
Life history notes on the White-brand Grass-skipper, Toxidia rietmanni rietmanni (Semper, ) Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae,
Issue 92 (March 2019), pp. 9-13,
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.
Beitrag zur Rhopalocerenfauna von Australien,
Journal des Museum Godeffroy,
Volume 5, Heft 14 (1879) p. 187, No. 171.
(updated 2 May 2008, 29 September 2013, 17 March 2019)