Netrocoryne repanda (C. Felder & R. Felder, [1867])
Eastern Bronze Flat
(one synonym : Goniloba vulpecula)
PYRGINAE ,   HESPERIIDAE ,   HESPERIOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Netrocoryne repanda
early instar
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Burwood, New South Wales)

Initially, these Caterpillars are yellow with black heads.

Netrocoryne repanda
closed shelter containing a caterpillar
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Burwood, New South Wales)

Later, they become pale grey with black stripes along the back and each side, and yellow ends containing black spots. The Caterpillars are very clever: they cut a circular piece of leaf from their food plant with a diameter of about 1 cm. They hinge it over and attach it to the rest of the leaf, and then live hidden in this shelter.

Netrocoryne repanda
the lid of the shelter opened,
with caterpillar holding onto the lid
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Burwood, New South Wales)

As the Caterpillar grows, it gives up this shelter, and makes a simpler one by curling a leaf over. The Caterpillars have been known to feed on the foliage of many trees, including:

  • Black Wattle ( Callicoma serratifolia, CUNONIACEAE ),
  • Blueberry Ash ( Elaeocarpus reticulatus, ELAEOCARPACEAE ),
  • Flintwood ( Scolopia braunii, SALICACEAE ),
  • Camphor Laurel ( Cinnamomum camphora, LAURACEAE ),
  • Brush Box ( Lophostemon confertus, MYRTACEAE ),
  • Long-leaved Mock Olive ( Notelaea longifolia, OLEACEAE ),
  • Plum Pine ( Podocarpus elatus, PODOCARPACEAE ),
  • Wild Quince ( Alectryon subcinereus, SAPINDACAE ), and
  • Kurrajong ( Brachychiton populneus, STERCULIACEAE ).

    Netrocoryne repanda
    rolled leaf shelter containing the pupa
    (Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Burwood, New South Wales)

    The Caterpillar pupates in its rolled leaf shelter.

    Netrocoryne repanda
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The adult butterflies are brown, with pale yellow markings on the wings. They are unusual in having a natural resting position in which they hold the wings flat to the surface, like the adults of many moth species in GEOMETRIDAE. They have a wingspan of about 5 cms.

    Netrocoryne repanda

    (Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Burwood, New South Wales)

    This species occurs most of the eastern half of Australia as two subspecies :

  • expansa in northern Queensland, and
  • repanda in the rest of Queensland, and New South Wales, and Victoria.

    Netrocoryne repanda
    (Photo: courtesy of Dave Britton)


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp 70-71.

    Baron Cajetan & Rudolf Felder,
    Zoologischer Theil: Lepidoptera,
    Reise der Osterreichischen Fregatte Novara,
    Band 2, Abtheilung 2, Part 3 (1867), pp. 507-508, No. 882, and also Plate 70, fig. 10.


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    (updated 18 December 2009, 27 September 2013)