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Varied Sword-grass Brown (Tisiphone abeona)

Varied Sword-grass Brown
Male. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 24 / 03 / 2008)

Appearance: Dark brown with several eyespots and usually a broad orange band on the fore wings that may be missing in some regions. Appearance generally highly variable.
Wingspan: 5–6 cm
Season: 2 generations from September to April; only 1 generation in summer in cooler, montane areas.
Range: Across the south-east of Australia from south-eastern QLD across NSW and the ACT into VIC and south-eastern SA.
Habitat: Different, generally moist habitats, including forests, swampland, and woodland.


The Varied Sword-grass Brown is divided into six different subspecies which are highly variable in their appearance. In particular the extent of the orange and white bands on both sides of the wings varies strongly between the different subspecies, with the orange bands missing completely in the northern areas of the distribution range.

Additional Photos

Varied Sword-grass Brown
Underside of a male of the subspecies abeona. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 24 / 03 / 2008)
Varied Sword-grass Brown
Underside, subspecies abeona. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 05 / 10 / 2009)
Varied Sword-grass Brown
Upperside, subspecies abeona. (Lane Cove NP, NSW, 05 / 10 / 2009)
Varied Sword-grass Brown
This female is attaching her eggs to the underside of sword grass leaves. (Blue Mountains NP, 21 / 02 / 2010)
Varied Sword-grass Brown
Close-up view of the green egg. (Blue Mountains NP, 21 / 02 / 2010)