Hypocysta adiante (Hübner, 1831)
Orange Ringlet
(previously known as Neonympha adiante)
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

Hypocysta adiante
(Photo: courtesy of Trevor Jinks, North Burnett, Queensland)

The Caterpillars of this species are pinkish-brown, with dark longitudinal stripes, and two horns at each end. The Caterpillars feed on various Grasses (POACEAE) including :

  • Kangaroo Grass ( Themeda triandra ).

    The Caterpillars rest on a stem or leaf at the base of a foodplant, and grow to a length of about 2 cms.

    The pupa is slender, and is mottled brown with two horns on the head. It is formed hanging head downward from a cremaster on the foodplant, and has a length of around 1.5 cms.

    Hypocysta adiante
    (Photo: courtesy of Trevor Jinks, North Burnett, Queensland))

    The wings of the adult butterflies are plain orange-brown shading to dark brown at the margins, with an eye-spot on each hind wing. The undersides are similar to the upper surfaces, with each hindwing having an additional eyespot. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 3 cms. They fly just above ground level and have jumpy flight pattern, stopping at regular intervals to rest or feed. There have been times when Hypocysta pseudirius, Hypocysta metirius, and Hypocysta adiante have been seen flying together. They are very difficult to tell apart in flight.

    Hypocysta adiante
    egg, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Ken Walker, Darwin, Northern Territory)

    The eggs are laid singly on the underside of a foodplant leaf. The eggs are cream and nearly spherical, with a diameter of about 0.8 mm.

    Hypocysta adiante
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The species is found as two subspecies in Australia :

  • adiante in Queensland and New South Wales,
  • antirius Butler, 1868, in the Northern Territory, and the north of Western Australia.

    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 484-485.

    Jacob Hübner,
    Zuträge zur Sammlung exotischer Schmetterlinge,
    Augsburg, Volume 3 (1818-1837), p. 10, No. 76 (273), and also Plate 585 (94), Figs. 545, 546.

    Wesley Jenkinson,
    Life history notes on the Orange Ringlet, Hypocysta adiante adiante (Hubner, 1831) Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 71 (December 2013), pp. 10-12.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 227.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 25 April 2010, 8 December 2013, 19 June 2020, 22 September 2021)