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

Oreixenica kershawi
(Photo: courtesy of R.P. Field; Museums 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 Grass (POACEAE) :

  • Snow Grass ( Poa sieberiana ), 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 CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    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.

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

    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 eggs are green and spherical, each with about 500 minute dimples. The eggs have a diameter of about 0.8 mm.

    Oreixenica kershawi
    egg, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Ken Walker, Kallista, Victoria)

    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 southern New South Wales, and Victoria, and
  • 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, 5 August 2020, 22 September 2021)