Trapezites sciron Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914
Mallee Ochre
TRAPEZITINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

This Caterpillar is fawn with a darker dorsal line. The head is spotted with two stripes on it. The caterpillar feeds on various species of Mat-rush ( ASPARAGACEAE ), including:

  • Acanthocarpus canaliculatus,
  • Acanthocarpus preissii,
  • Tufted Mat Rush ( Lomandra caespitosa ), and
  • Iron Grass ( Lomandra collina ),

    hiding in a shelter constructed out of dead leaves and other debris, initially at the base of a tussock. Later instars may construct their shelter a little way from the foodplant.


    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Museum Victoria)

    The adult butterfly is brown with several pale yellow patches on each fore wing. The underside of each fore wing is similar to the upper surface but paler. The hind wings underneath are brown with outlined white spots. The wing span is about 3 cms.


    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Museum Victoria)

    The eggs are hemispherical and initially white. They are laid singly on young leaves of a foodplant.

    The species is found as three races in small pockets across the south of the continent:

  • eremicola Burns, [1948], in Victoria and South Australia,
  • sciron in Western Australia, and
  • atkinsi Williams, Williams & Hay, 1998, in the south-west most tip of Western Australia.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp 101-102.

    Gustavus Athol Waterhouse & George Lyell,
    The Butterflies of Australia,
    Angus & Robertson, 1914, Sydney, p. 178, No. 249, and also Plate 37, Figs 746-747.


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    (updated 18 November 2009, 21 September 2013)