Sunday, 8 August 2010

Skippers

This little skipper is common around the margins of the stream that runs through our patach of rainforest. I have tentatively identified it as the Swamp Darter, Arrhenes marnas (Fielder). [If I'm wrong, my butterfly enthusiasts will soon correct me!]. There are three geographic races of this butterfly exisitng in appropriate habitats along the Queensland east coast. What catches my attention with many skipper is their resting posture. I know of no other butterflies that rest like this. But not all skippers do so.
Meet the beautiful White-clubbed Swift, Sabera caesina (Hewitson). This butterfly is much less common but does not seem to perch with the hind wings at the angle of the above. It is much less common and exists with 5 geographic races, only one of which, S. c. albofasciata (Miskin), occurs in populations along the west coast of north Queensland. The others occur in New Guinea. The larvae if this skipper feed on palms, most notably a Wait-A-While, Calamus caryotoides in the north and other more typical palms in the south.

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