Chaetocneme denitza (Hewitson, 1867)
Rare Redeye
(previously known as Netrocoryne denitza)
PYRGINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Peter R. Samson & Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of David Johnston, Jove Creative Publishing P/L)

These caterpillars initially are orange with a black head. Later instars become pink with a pale thorax and anal plate. They have a dark line down the back. They live in a shelter made by cutting a piece of leaf and folding it over and joining it with silk. They cling to the roof of their shelter upside-down by day, coming out to feed in the evening.


(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

They have been found feeding on the foliage of various trees, including:

  • various species of Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus species, MYRTACEAE ),
  • Brush Box ( Lophostemon confertus, MYRTACEAE ),
  • Swamp Mahogany ( Lophostemon suaveolens, MYRTACEAE ), and
  • Jinggul ( Lophostemon grandiflorus, MYRTACEAE ),
    and also
  • Billy Goat Plum ( Planchonia careya, LECYTHIDACEAE ),.

    The Caterpillars pupate in their shelter.


    (Photo copyright: Peter Samson)

    The adult butterflies are rusty brown, with blurred dark markings and pale yellow spots on the wings.


    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    The eyes are red. The wings have a purple suffusion, especially the females, which are usually larger than the males. The males have a wingspan of about 4 cms. The females have a wingspn of about 6 cms.


    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    The undersides are similar to the upper surfaces.

    The eggs are brown and dome shape, laid singly on the upper surface of a leaf of a food plant.

    This species occurs sporadically over the north of Australia, including

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland, and
  • Western Australia.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp 64-65.

    William Chapman Hewitson,
    Hesperidae,
    Descriptions of One Hundred new species of Hesperidae,
    London, Part 1 (1867), p. 22, No. 2.

    David Lane,
    A New and Interesting Foodplant Record for the Rare Red Eye (Lepidoptera : Hesperiidae : Pyrginae),
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 56 (March 2010), pp. 12-13,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.


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    (updated 22 January 2012, 22 Spetember 2013)