Heteronympha cordace (Geyer, 1832)
Bright Eyed Brown
(previously known as Tisiphone cordace)
SATYRINAE ,   NYMPHALIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Heteronympha cordace
(Photo: courtesy of Laura Levens, Upper Beaconsfield, Victoria)

The Caterpillars of this species feed nocturnally on various grasses such as:

  • Tall Sedge ( Carex appressa, CYPERACEAE ).

    By day, they hide in debris at the base of the foodplant. The early instars of this caterpillar are green, with a black head. Later instars are green or brown with darker lines along the body, and with a brown head and a forked tail. The caterpillars can grow to a leength of 3 cms.

    The pupa is green with yellowish patches and black spots. Its length is about 1.5 cms. It is suspended head down by a cremaster from the foodplant or a nearby object.

    Heteronympha cordace
    (Specimen: courtesy of Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The adults are dark brown with orange markings, and have one eyespot on each forewing and two on each hindwing. Underneath, the wings are similar but paler. The butterflies have a wing span of about 4 cms. They can be found around swampy environments, where the larval foodplant grows.

    Heteronympha cordace
    underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The eggs are pale green and spherical with a diameter of about 0.7 mm. They are laid in groups of one to three on the undersides of lower leaves of a foodplant.

    The species is found as several races :

  • cordace in the mountains of New South Wales and Victoria,
  • wilsoni Burns, [1948], in southern Victoria and South Australia, and

  • legana Couchman, 1954, in the east,
  • kurena Couchman, 1954, in the centre, and
  • comptena Couchman, 1954, in the west of Tasmania.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 518-520.

    Carl Geyer,
    Papiliones,
    Zuträge zur Sammlung exotischer Schmettlinge,
    Volume 4 (1832), p. 42, No. 399.


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    (updated 1 May 2010, 17 December 2013)