Chaetocneme beata (Hewitson, 1867)
Common 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, 22 September 2013, 26 January 2014, 19 May 2020, 18 October 2021)