I saw this butterfly in the Wombat forest last month. Do you know its name? L.H., Bungaree.
This is the swordgrass brown, a regular summer inhabitant in the Wombat forest. It is closely associated with the red-fruit sword-sedge (Gahnia), and it is usually found in or near the damper gullies where this tall plant occurs.
Relatively large, and quite handsome, the swordgrass brown attracts attention because of its dark brown wings and slow graceful flight. Yellow and orange wing marks, as well as eye-like spots, are seen on closer inspection.
Its caterpillars feed on the sword-sedge leaves. This plant is sometimes known as swordgrass, hence the butterfly’s common name.
The Wombat forest appears to be the only place it occurs in the Ballarat region.
- Questions and photos are welcome. Send to Roger Thomas at The Courier, PO Box 21, Ballarat, 3353, or email to email@example.com