Heteronympha paradelpha Lower, 1893
Spotted Brown
SATYRINAE ,   NYMPHALIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Heteronympha paradelpha
(Photo: courtesy of R.P. Field, Museum Victoria)

These Caterpillars are initially green with a black head. Later instars are green or pale brown, with a dark dorsal line, a dark underside, and a brown head. They have a forked tail and the head has a concave top. The caterpillars typically rest at the base of their foodplant by day, and feed nocturnally on various species of Grass ( POACEAE ), including :

  • Snow Grass ( Microlaena stipoides ), and
  • Slender Tussock Grass ( Poa tenera ).

    The pupa is mottled brown, and is formed in the debris on the soil surface.

    Heteronympha paradelpha
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Museum Victoria)

    The wings of the adult butterflies on top are brown with yellow patches. The wings each have an eyespot. Underneath, the wings are similar, but paler, and each hind wing has two eyespots. The butterflies have a wing span of about 4 cms.

    Heteronympha paradelpha
    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Museum Victoria)

    The eggs are dropped in the litter at the base of a foodplant by the female when perched on the plant. The eggs are cream coloured and round, with a diameter of about 0.7 mm.

    Heteronympha paradelpha
    (Photo: courtesy of Martin Purvis, Sydney, New South Wales)

    Two subspecies have been described :

  • paradelpha Lower 1893, over New South Wales , and Victoria , and
  • deervalensis Burns 1946, in New England.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 514-515.

    Oswald B. Lower,
    New Australian Lepidoptera,
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
    Volume 17, Number 1 (1893), pp. 146-147.


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    (updated 8 May 2008, 8 December 2013, 15 March 2015)