Cephrenes trichopepla (Lower, 1908)
Yellow Palm Dart
(previously known as Erynnis trichopepla)
HESPERIINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Cephrenes trichopepla
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

This Caterpillar is a translucent green, shading to purplish underneath and orange at each end. The head is white with black bands and an orange patch. The caterpillar lives and feeds on various Palm species ( ARECACEAE ), including:

  • Coconut ( Cocos nucifera ),
  • Cabbage Tree Palms ( Livistona species ), and
  • Date Palms ( Phoenix species ),

    living in a shelter made from joining palm fronds together with silk.

    Cephrenes trichopepla
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    The larva pupates in its tubular leafy shelter. The pupa is covered in a white chalky powder.

    Cephrenes trichopepla
    (Photo: courtesy of Nick Monaghan)

    The upper side of the adult butterfly is brown with yellow bands. Underneath, the wings are yellow with dark brown dots and splotches. The wing span is about 4 cms.

    Cephrenes trichopepla
    (Photo: courtesy of Nick Monaghan)

    The eggs are laid singly on a frond of a foodplant. The eggs are hemispherical and white, going pink as they develop.

    Cephrenes trichopepla
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    The species has been found in :

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria, and
  • South Australia,
  • Western Australia,

    and has recently been discovered in

  • Singapore.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 232-233.

    Oswald B. Lower,
    Descriptions of New Australian Hesperiadae,
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
    Volume 32 (1908), pp. 315-316.


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    (updated 19 March 2011, 29 September 2013)