Tisiphone helena (Olliff, 1888)
Helena Brown
(previously known as: Epinephile helena)
SATYRINAE,   NYMPHALIDAE,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Tisiphone helena
(Photo: courtesy of Martin Purvis)

The Caterpillars of this species are green or brown, with dark lines along the body. Initially the head is black. In later instars it becomes green, and later still pale brown. The Caterpillar grows to a length of over 4 cms. By day it hides at the base of its foodplant, resting head downward. It feeds nocturnally on :

  • Saw Sedge ( Gahnia sieberiana, CYPERACEAE ).

    The pupa is green with a cream-edged ridges each side. Its length is about 1.5 cms. It is attached head downward by a cremaster to a foodplant leaf or some object nearby.

    Tisiphone helena
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The wings of the adult butterflies are brown, with a broad pale yellow stripe across the tip of each forewing. Each forewing also has an orange patch and two eye-spots. There are two eyespots on each hind wing.

    Tisiphone helena
    underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The undersides are similar to the upper surfaces but paler. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 6 cms.

    The eggs are bright green and spherical, with a diameter of about 1.5 mm. They are laid singly on dead leaves at the base of a tussock of the foodplant.

    The species is found in

  • Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 521-522.

    Arthur Sidney Olliff,
    On Rhopalocera from the vicinity of Mt Bellenden-Ker Queensland,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Series 2, Volume 3, Part 1 (1888), pp. 395-396.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 232.


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    (updated 9 May 2008, 12 December 2013, 14 April 2015)