Chaetocneme beata (Hewitson, 1867)
Red-Eye or Eastern Dusk-flat
(previously known as Netrocoryne beata)
Don Herbison-Evans
Peter R. Samson & Stella Crossley

Chaetocneme beata
early instar
(Photo: copyright Stewart Newman, Sydney, New South Wales)

The early instars of these Caterpillars are off-white. The head is large, brown or yellowish, and divided into two lobes.

Chaetocneme beata
later instar
(Photo: courtesy of Mark Hopkinson, Cairns, Queensland)

Later instars become green and covered in pale dots. In the final instar: the two lobes of the head become divided by a dark vertial line.

Chaetocneme beata
final instar
(Photo copyright: Peter Samson)

The caterpillars live in leafy shelters by day. Initially these are constructed from a cut piece of leaf folded over to make a triangular pocket. Later instars join two leaves together with silk. The caterpillars feed nocturnally on various trees, including :

  • Custard Apple ( Annona reticulata, ANNONACEAE ),
  • Queensland Cascarilla ( Croton insularis, EUPHORBIACEAE ),
  • Camphor Laurel ( Cinnamomum camphora, LAURACEAE ),
  • Bolwarra ( Eupomatia laurina, MAGNOLIACEAE ),
  • Hibiscus ( Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, MALVACEAE ), and
  • Brush Box ( Lophostemon confertus, MYRTACEAE ).

    Chaetocneme beata
    (Photo: courtesy of Stewart Newman, Sydney, New South Wales)

    The pupa is green or brown with a white mark on each side outlined in black with brown markings at one end. it is typically formed in a curled leaf.

    Chaetocneme beata
    (Photo: courtesy of Stewart Newman, Sydney, New South Wales)

    The adult butterflies are brown, with an irregular or broken white stripe across each forewing containing a brown dot. The hindwings may each have red and white spots.

    Chaetocneme beata
    (Photo: courtesy of Stewart Newman, Sydney, New South Wales)

    The males are slightly smaller, but have more white spots than the female. The wingspan of the adults is about 5 cms.

    Chaetocneme beata
    (Photo copyright: Peter Samson)

    The eggs of this species are spherical and ribbed and laid singly on a leaf of a foodplant.

    Chaetocneme beata
    (Photo: courtesy of Stewart Newman, Sydney, New South Wales)

    This species occurs in edges of the upland rainforest along the coast of

  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.

    Chaetocneme beata
    male, underside
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    Chaetocneme beata
    ( Australia Post, 1998)

    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp 65-66.

    Frank Jordan & Helen Schwencke,
    Create More Butterflies : a guide to 48 butterflies and their host-plants
    Earthling Enterprises, Brisbane, 2005, pp. 17, 63, 67.

    Oswald B. Lower,
    Descriptions of New Australian Hesperiadae ,
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
    Volume 32 (1908), pp. 315-316.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 232.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 30 September 2010, 5 January 2024)