Wedge Grass Skipper
Appearance: Almost unmistakable. The brown hind wing underside is almost uniformly covered in tiny, white scales except for a few dark patches.
Wingspan: 2.5 cm
Season: 1 generation in summer and autumn.
Range: Near-coastal areas of south-western WA.
Habitat: Moist, grassy areas in forests; suburban gardens.
The Wedge Grass Skipper is endemic to south-western Australia where it is common and widespread in near-coastal areas between Geraldton and Esperance. The reason for its abundance is the fact that the caterpillars feed on several native and introduces grasses, including invasive veldgrass species originating from South Africa.
While overall brown in colour, the hind wing underside is covered in numerous tiny, white scales with a characteristic pattern of dark markings, making the Wedge Grass Skipper almost unmistakable. As the butterflies always rest with their wings closed above their body, the dark-brown upperside is rarely seen.
The butterflies emerge during the summer or autumn in just a single generation. In Perth, the peak flight season is autumn, and during April the butterflies are frequent visitors to suburban gardens where they feed from flowers such as Buddleja. Further south they emerge as early as December or January.