Oreixenica kershawi (Miskin, 1876)
Striped Xenica
(previously known as Xenica kershawi)
SATYRINAE ,   NYMPHALIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Oreixenica kershawi
(Photo: courtesy of R.P. Field; Museum Victoria)

These Caterpillars are green with sparse prominent hairs, and have a green head. Later instars may acquire longitudinal pale lines, and a forked tail. The caterpillars feed on various species of POACEAE :

  • Snow Grass ( Poa species), and
  • Wire Grass ( Tetrarrhena species).

    The pupa is spiky, and green with brown markings. It is suspended head down from a cremaster.

    Oreixenica kershawi
    (Photo: courtesy of R.P. Field; Museum Victoria)

    The upper surfaces of the wings of the adult butterflies are brown with yellow patches. The upper sides of each of the forewings each have a small eyespot near the wing tip, and the hind wings have a larger one near the tornus.

    Underneath, the wings are much the same, except that the hindwings each have an extra eye spot. The butterflies have a wing span of about 3 cms.

    Oreixenica kershawi
    (Courtesy : Instant Scratch Its)

    The species is found in the mountains of south eastern Australia as several subspecies, including:

  • ella (Olliff, 1888) in central New South Wales,
  • phryne Tindale, 1949, in Australian Capital Territory,
  • kershawi in Victoria, and southern New South Wales,
  • kanunda Tindale, 1949, in western Victoria and South Australia.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 500-501.

    William Henry Miskin,
    Descriptions of new species of Australian diurnal Lepidoptera,
    Transactions of the Entomological Society of London,
    1876, pp. 452-453.


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    (updated 4 June 2010, 11 December 2013)