Nesoxenica leprea (Hewitson, 1864)
Leprea Brown
(erroneously: Xenica lepera)
SATYRINAE,   NYMPHALIDAE,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


subspecies elia
(Photo: courtesy of Elaine McDonald, Hartz Mountains, Tasmania)

The Caterpillars of this species are green, with a pair of yellow lateral lines. The caterpillars live in the mountains of Tasmania, and protect themselves from the cold by snuggling into the base of tussocks of grass. The caterpillars feed nocturnally on :

  • Delicate Hook Sedge ( Unicinia tenella, CYPERACEAE ).


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

    The wings of the adult butterflies are dark brown, with two yellow bands across each forewing. The bands are more orange when the butterfly first emerges, and then fade through the life-span of the butterfly. The hindwings have white patches and dark spots. The undersides are similar to the upper surfaces, but the hindwings are more spotty.


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

    The butterflies have a wingspan of about 3 cms.


    subspecies elia
    (Photo: courtesy of Elaine McDonald, Hartz Mountains, Tasmania)

    The species is found as two subspecies leprea, and elia Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914, in

  • Tasmania.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby, Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 487-488.

    William Chapman Hewitson,
    Descriptions of New Species of Diurnal Lepidoptera,
    Transactions of the Entomological Society of London,
    Series 3, Volume 2, Part 3 (1864) p. 249, and Plate 16, figs. 6-7.


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    (written 17 December 2001, updated 11 December 2013, 14 April 2015, 29 December 2017)