Family - HESPERIIDAE
Fitzroy Falls, Wollongong NSW, Australia
© David Fischer
Trapezitinae comprises of about 60-70 smallish, robust, heavy-bodied
skippers, all of which are confined to the Australian region (
including New Guinea ). There are 18 genera, of which
Trapezites is the largest, with between
15-18 species depending on taxonomic interpretation. Unlike
Hesperiinae, males of Trapezitinae do not possess an androconial
Each genus of the
Trapezitinae has larvae that specialize in feeding on particular plant
genera, e.g. Trapezites all feed on spike
is found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
This species is found in rough
scrubby grassland in the temperate hills of eastern Australia.
The dome-shaped egg is white with brown blotches in colour, and
faintly ribbed. It is laid singly on leaves of the foodplants which
Lomandra longifolia and related species
The larva is pale brown with a faint dark dorsal line. It has a grey
head with an inverted Y-shaped brown mark. It lives within a tubular
shelter constructed from the leaves and feeds nocturnally. The pupa
is formed within the leaf shelter.
In hot sunny conditions the
butterflies usually hold their wings erect, or slightly apart, when at
conditions are cooler they sometimes adopt the traditional Hesperiine
posture, with forewings raised at 45°, and hindwings held outspread.
It is more common however for both the fore and hindwings to be held
flat, with the hindwings obscured, as shown in the photo at the top of
Males are highly territorial, defending
their patches of ground vigorously. If one male intrudes into the
territory of another, the pair spiral skywards to a height of several
metres, revolving around each other at high speed, until the intruding
male relinquishes claim to the territory and flies away. The winning
male then returns to his original perching place.