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White-banded Grass Dart (Taractrocera papyria)

White-banded Grass Dart
Mating pair of the WA subspecies agraulia. (City Beach, WA, 23/08/2014)

Appearance: Relatively small with brown and orange markings; subspecies papyria with conspicuous white band across the hind wing underside. Very similar to several other species of Hesperiinae.
Wingspan: 2 cm
Season: All year round in multiple generations.
Range: South-western WA, south-eastern SA, TAS, VIC, ACT, eastern NSW, parts of eastern QLD.
Habitat: Woodland and grassland.

Description

The White-banded Grass Dart is a small, inconspicuous species that is very similar to other species of the Hesperiinae subfamily. There are two subspecies: papyria across south-eastern Australia can be identified by its conspicuous white band across the hind wing underside (hence the common name). This band is strongly reduced and almost invisible in the subspecies agraulia that occurs in south-western WA.

When basking in the sun, White-banded Grass Darts usually have their hind wings fully open, while the fore wings are almost closed and held above the body.