Orsotriaena medus (Fabricius, 1775)
Nigger
(previously known as Mycalesis medus)
SATYRINAE ,   NYMPHALIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

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

The eggs of this species are pale green and have a diameter of about 1 mm. They are laid on the underside of a leaf of a food plant. The Caterpillars of feed on various members of the Grass family ( POACEAE ), including :

  • Cogon Grass ( Imperata cylindrica ),
  • Rice ( Oryza sativa ), and
  • Guinea Grass ( Panicum maximum ).

    The caterpilars are variously: white, pink, yellow or green. They have two pairs of horns on the head, one pair pointing forward, and one back. They grow to a length of about 4 cms.

    They pupate hanging from a cremaster from a leaf of the food plant. The pupa is brown with a dark line along each side, and has a pointed head. The pupa has a length of about 2 cms.

    The wings of the adult butterflies are dark brown, with a faint pale stripe across each wing. The undersides are similar, except that each wing has at least two eyespots. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 4 cms.

    The species is found as various subspecies across south-east Asia, including

  • India,
  • Malaysia,
  • New Guinea,
  • Thailand,

    and the subspecies moira Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914, is found in Australia in

  • Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 470-471.

    Johan Christian Fabricius,
    Historiae Natvralis Favtoribvs,
    Systema Entomologiae,
    1775, p. 488, No. 198.


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    (updated 5 July 2009, 11 December 2013)