Don Herbison-Evans (
(Photo: courtesy of Stephanie Noverraz, taken at Nimbin)
The Caterpillar of this species feeds on various members of the Grass family ( POACEAE ), including :
Caterpillars have also been found on members of the Sedge family ( CYPERACEAE ), including :
The Caterpillae is cylindrical, and green with white spots. It has two dark reddish hairy horns on its head, and a pair of horns on its tail. The Caterpillars feed in daylight near a leaf tip, often in a small group. They rest on the underside of a leaf along a vein.
The pupa is smooth and green. It hangs by a silk cremaster from the foodplant. Its length is about 2 cms.
The adult has two forms: the winter (dry) season form is dark brown with an orange patch containing double eyespot near the tip of each forewing. These is usually a single eyespot on the top of each hindwing. Each wing has a recurved margin. The wingspan is about 7 cms.
The summer (wet) season form is paler.
The underside (of both forms) is variable: generally a cryptic brown with a number of small eyespots.
The eggs are spherical and pale yellow, and have a diameter of about 1 mm. They are laid at dusk in groups of one to five on the underside of young foodplant leaves.
Like many adult insects, they like to drink sap exudung from damaged trees
Races of this species are found over much of the world, for example :
The race found in Australia is bankia which occurs in:
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 468-469.
(updated 29 April 2010)