Pataeta carbo (Guenée, 1852)
(one synonym : Phlegetonia conspicienda Walker, 1858)
Dark Euteliid
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

Pataeta carbo
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Bundaberg, Queensland)

These Caterpillars initially are a translucent yellow. Later they become green speckled with yellow spots, with a yellow line along each side, and a green head.

Pataeta carbo
green form
(Photo: courtesy of Paul Whitington, Wonboyn, New South Wales)

The caterpillars have been found feeding on the young shoots of plants in MYRTACEAE, including:

  • Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus ), and
  • Bottlebrush ( Callistemon ).

    Pataeta carbo
    brown form
    (Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Bundaberg, Queensland)

    The caterpillars later become brown with a brown head, and ultimately red, still speckled with yellow spots, and with a dark brown head.

    Pataeta carbo
    red form
    (Photo: courtesy of Paul Whitington, Wonboyn, New South Wales)

    The caterpillars grow to a length of about 4 cms. They pupate in ground debris in the vicinity of their foodplant.

    Pataeta carbo
    (Photo: courtesy of Trevor Jinks, North Burnett, Queensland)

    The forewings of the adult moth vary from black to dark brown. With the paler colour, a complex pattern can be discerned. In its natural posture, the hindwings of the moth are covered by the forewings, and the tip of the abdomen is curled upward. If the moth is lying on its back, it can flip itself over using its abdomen.

    Pataeta carbo
    (Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Bundaberg, Queensland)

    The moths have satin grey hindwings with a dark border. The moths have a wingspan of about 4 cms.

    Pataeta carbo
    male, drawing by George Francis Hampson,

    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Phalænæ in the British Museum,
    Noctuidæ, Volume XI (1912), Plate CLXXV, figure 26,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.

    The species has been found around the west Pacific, including:

  • Fiji,
  • Hong Kong,
  • Nouvelle-Calédonie,
  • Papua,

    as well as in Australia in:

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Australian Capital Territory,
  • Victoria, and
  • South Australia.

    Pataeta carbo
    (Photo: courtesy of Trevor Jinks, North Burnett)

    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig 47.16, p. 456.

    Achille Guenée,
    in Boisduval & Guenée:
    Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
    Volume 9, Part 6, Section 1 (1852), p. 302, No. 1108.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 8,
    Night Moths and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA(B)
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2017, p. 5.

    Francis Walker,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 15 (1858), p. 1748, No. 1.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 14 April 2013, 20 August 2020)