Pasma tasmanicus (Miskin, 1889)
Two Spotted Grass Skipper
(previously known as Hesperilla tasmanica)
TRAPEZITINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Pasma tasmanicus
(Photo: courtesy of Martin Purvis, Sydney, New South Wales)

The Caterpillar of this species is reddish brown, greenish between segments, with a dark mid-dorsal line. The head is a patchy brown colour. The Caterpillar grows to a length of about 2.5 cms. It feeds nocturnally on tussock grass ( Poa species, POACEAE ) such as:

  • Weeping Grass ( Microlaena stipoides ).

    It lives by day in a shelter formed by joining several grass stems together with silk in the middle of a tussock. In due course, it pupates in this same shelter.

    Pasma tasmanicus
    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Museum Victoria)

    The upper side of the adult butterfly is dark brown with a number of white spots on each wing. Each wing also has a narrow chequered border. Underneath, the wings are fawn with white spots of various sizes, each outlined in dark brown. The wing span is about 3 cms.

    Pasma tasmanicus
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Museum Victoria)

    The species is found in the mountains of :

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


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp 121-122.

    William Henry Miskin,
    Descriptions of some new species of Australian Hesperidae,
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland,
    Volume 6, Part 4 (1890), pp. 149-150.


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    (updated 30 April 2008, 21 September 2013)