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Open-access, online, rapid taxonomy
ISSN: 2653-4649 (Online)

Australian Journal of 




A new species of trapezitine skipper (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) from the Kimberley in the Australian Monsoon Tropics

Michael F. Braby Andreas Zwick, Diana Hartley and James A. Nicholls

Author details ⏷

Michael F. Braby[1,2] Andreas Zwick[1], Diana Hartley[1] and James A. Nicholls[1]

[1]Australian National Insect Collection, GPO Box 1700, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.
[2]Division of Ecology and Evolution, Research School of Biology, RN Robertson Building, 46 Sullivans Creek Road, The Australian National University, Acton, ACT 2601, Australia.


A new species of skipper butterfly, Toxidia aurantia Braby, sp. nov., is illustrated, diagnosed and described from the northern Kimberley of Western Australia. A molecular phylogeny based on one mitochondrial (COX1 barcode fragment) and four nuclear genes (EF1-a, RSB2, RSB5, Wingless) for nearly all members of Toxidia Mabille, 1891 and its sister genus Timoconia Strand, 1909 according to the Maximum Likelihood optimality criterion, indicated that the new species belongs in the Toxidia xanthomera species-group (formerly classified in the genus Neohesperilla Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914) and is most closely related to T. crocea (Miskin, 1889). These two taxa are sister to T. xiphiphora (Lower, 1911). Toxidia aurantia Braby, sp. nov. is currently known from only a limited area on the mainland in the Admiralty Gulf near the Osborn Islands and Borda Island, WA. The discovery of this new species contributes to the emerging picture that the northern Kimberley is likely an area of high species richness for butterflies and day-flying moths within the Australian Monsoon Tropics.


Key words: Biogeography, butterfly, Ord Arid Intrusion, Trapezitinae, Victoria River Drainage Basin barrier.

Cite this paper as: Braby MF et al. (2023). A new species of trapezitine skipper (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) from the Kimberley in the Australian Monsoon Tropics. Australian Journal of Taxonomy 22: 1–13. doi:

This paper was published on: 2/6/2023





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