Varied Swordgrass Brown Tisiphone abeona regalis Wingspan: 52 mm - 59 mm
Sighted: October to December, Oct 13th 2017 (12.30pm)
Larval Food Plants: Gahnia aspera, G.sieberiana, G. clarkei
Varied Swordgrass Brown subspecies regalis - newly hatched - near our front garden
We see the Swordgrass Brown infrequently on our property. It breeds in colonies where sufficient food supplies exist but occasionally a butterfly will wander away looking for a new breeding area. We assume our rare visitors are searching for a new supply of their favourite Gahnias, Gahnia sieberiana and Gahnia clarkei.
We see many more of these butterflies whilst walking on the Killungoondie Plains, 10ks from us, where its preferred Gahnia food plants, G.sieberiana and G.clarkei, grow in large quantities.
As a rule the Swordgrass Brown tends not to wander far from its host food plant source. We have plenty of G. aspera (not a preferred foodplant) and in 2018 planted good numbers of G.sieberiana and G.clarkei shortly before discovering G.sieberiana growing in good numbers on our property in an area under power cables. This area had been cleared of trees, and mulched, in late 2015 by contractors working for our energy company. This Gahnia find was a very exciting discovery and vastly increases our chances of having a Swordgrass Brown colony establish here at Claire Cottage. That would be a wonderful outcome.
A well-worn Swordgrass Brown, Urunga NSW, 6 Dec 2018
Varied Swordgrass Brown at Cathedral Rocks National Park
This poor specimen has lost one of its hindwings but we were very excited to see this rare visitor to our garden.