Butterflies of Australia
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
© David Fischer
There are only 2
Tisiphone species - abeona and
helena, both of which are endemic to Australia. The
adults are distinctly marked with broad bands across the forewings and red or
orange-ringed ocelli on the hindwings, so cannot be mistaken for any other
is found in southern Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Canberra and South Australia. There are 8 named subspecies.
inhabits glades and clearings in open woodland habitats at
elevations between about 50-1200m according to locality.
The egg is bright green and globular. It is laid singly on grasses at the base
of a tussock. The larva is bright emerald green with a broad suffused red stripe
along the back. It feeds in the evening on swordgrass
Gahnia ( Cyperaceae ), and hides by day at the base of the plant in a
head-downwards position. The chrysalis is bright green with a narrow yellow line
along the inner margin of the wing cases. It is suspended by the cremaster from
a blade of swordgrass.
The adults have a slow lazy flight and bask with wings partly or fully outspread on low herbage.