Erionota thrax thrax (Banana Skipper)
Banana Skipper

The Banana Skipper is a large brown Hesperiid with large yellow spots on the forewings above.

The butterfly has red eyes which is reminiscent of the Giant Redeye, which is the larger of the two species.  Adult Banana Skippers are less often seen although the caterpillars can be quite common on the host plants.  This may be due to the fact that the butterfly is only active during the early morning hours and just before dusk.  It is sometimes attracted to the lights of dwellings and flies towards the lights in the evenings. 

The caterpillars can be found where the banana plants (Musa spp) are cultivated.  Occasionally, an infestation is severe enough for the species to be considered one of the banana farmer's pests.  The characteristic rolled up portions of the banana leaves are a dead giveaway to the presence of the caterpillars.  Pupation takes place in a rolled up leaf as well, and the adult butterfly emerges after about a week.  The caterpillar swings from side to side violently when disturbed, and exudes a greenish fluid.  The pupa also wriggles violently when disturbed.

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