Hesperilla sexguttata Herrich-Schaffer, 1869
Six Spot Skipper
TRAPEZITINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


male
(Picture: courtesy of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences)

These Caterpillars are pale green, tending to pink at each end. The head is brown. They have been found feeding on various Sedges (CYPERACEAE) including

  • Rotten Sedge ( Cyperus decompositus ),
  • Giant Sedge ( Cyperus javanicus ), and
  • Tiny Head Sedge ( Cyperus microcephalus ).

    The caterpillars hide by day in a shelter made by curling foodplant leaves and holding them with silk. The Caterpillars emerge to feed nocturnally.

    They pupate in their shelter.

    The adult butterflies of this species are dark brown with a row of six close pale yellow spots on each forewing. The males also have a black line running alongside the spots. The wings have a narrow white border. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 2.5 cms.

    This species is rare outside the tropics, and occurs as two subspecies :

  • sela Waterhouse 1932, in the north of Western Australia, and Northern Territory, and Cape York, and
  • sexguttata along the coast of the southern half of Queensland. .


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 161-162.

    Gottlieb August Wilhelm Herrich-Schäffer,
    Neue Schmetterlinge aus dem "Museum Godeffroy" in Hamburg,
    Stettin Entomologische Zeitung,
    Volume 30, Parts 1-3 (1869), p. 80, No. 64. and also Plate 3, fig. 16.


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    (updated 26 March 2006, 27 September 2013)