Invertebrate Melanitis leda (Common Evening Brown Butterfly)

Hairyman

Ludwig Leichhardt
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Scientific Name: Melanitis leda

Common Name(s): Common Evening Brown Butterfly

Other Names: unknown

Class: Insecta

Order: Lepidoptera

Family: Nymphalidae

Tribe: unknown

Genus: Melanitis

Species: M. lea

Distribution: Coastal and adjacent Queensland and New South Wales.

Habitat: Grasses.

Field Notes: Caterpillars are green with white spots and feed on a wide variety of grasses.
Aduts feed on nectar and sometimes rotting fruit.
Adult butterfly is brown with black and white eyespots.
Summer form is paler than winter form. Blends well with dead leaves.
Often seen flying erratically at dusk.

Sources: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melanitis_leda
Brisbane Insects http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_nymphs/eveningb.htm

IMG_2781.jpg
note wing is damaged.
 
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Dusty

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I have not seen this one before. Hairy - Is this a large or small butterfly?
 

Dusty Miller

Alexander Pearce
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It's almost invisible in leaf litter. Medium, not small really, just really good camo.
 

Hairyman

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Suposed to be quite common at least in Brisbane. This one was in S. Burnett though.
 

Dusty

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Thanks for posting Hairy or I would have taken no notice of the movement in the leaf litter. Spotted this one Brisbane northside a couple of weeks ago.

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Appears in 2 seasonal forms: Above photos are wet season form. Butterfly underwing tonings are much darker brown in dry season form.


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Female - Photos 5 distinct eyespots on underside of hindwing. Male has 6. The second photo shows 2 large eyespots spots a small distance apart. The male spots actually touch.

Reference
Braby, M. (2004). The complete field guide to butterflies of Australia.
 

Dusty

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Found this Evening Brown in Brisbane northside this week.

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Not the best photo as taken in heavily littered area. I observed this butterflĂ˝ would only opened wings when landed for 1-3 wing beats. Otherwise remained closed.

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Dry season form. Has less Eyespot patterns to wet season form. Difficult to determine sex without view of body.

Photos by Dusty and auscraft, April 2012. Location: Nudgee section of wetlands.

References:
Braby, M. (2004). The complete field guide to butterflies of Australia.
Brisbaneinsects.com http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_nymphs/eveningb.htm
 
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