Oreixenica latialis Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914
Alpine Silver Xenica
SATYRINAE ,   NYMPHALIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


female, drawing by Gustavus Athol Waterhouse & George Lyell,
The Butterflies of Australia,
Angus & Robertson, 1914, Sydney, Plate 40, fig. 824,
image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Museum Victoria.

These Caterpillars are initially green with a black head. Later instars are brown with indistinct longitudinal lines. The caterpillars have a brown head that has a pair of small horns, and twoprojections on the anal segment. The caterpillars feed on various species of Grass (POACEAE) including :

  • Soft Snow Grass ( Poa hiemata ).

    The pupa is brown with a white doral abdominal ridge.


    male, drawing by Gustavus Athol Waterhouse & George Lyell,
    The Butterflies of Australia,
    Angus & Robertson, 1914, Sydney, Plate 40, fig. 823,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Museum Victoria.

    The wings of the adult butterflies are brown with yellow patches. On the upper surfaces, each wing has an eyespot.


    female underside, drawing by Gustavus Athol Waterhouse & George Lyell,
    The Butterflies of Australia,
    Angus & Robertson, 1914, Sydney, Plate 40, fig. 824,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Museum Victoria.

    Underneath, the forewings are similar, but each hindwing has two eyespots. The butterflies have a wing span of about 3 cms.


    male underside, drawing by Gustavus Athol Waterhouse & George Lyell,
    The Butterflies of Australia,
    Angus & Robertson, 1914, Sydney, Plate 40, fig. 823,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Museum Victoria.

    The species is found in the mountains of New South Wales and Victoria as three races:

  • latialis,
  • nama Couchman, 1953, and
  • theddora Couchman, 1953.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 494-495.

    Gustavus Athol Waterhouse & George Lyell,
    The Butterflies of Australia,
    Angus & Robertson, 1914, Sydney, p. 43, No. 41d, and also Plate 40, figs. 823, 824.


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    (updated 21 July 2004, 14 April 2015, 12 March 2016)