Eastern Bronze Flat
(one synonym : Goniloba vulpecula)
PYRGINAE, HESPERIIDAE, HESPERIOIDEA
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Burwood, New South Wales)
Initially, these Caterpillars are yellow with black heads.
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.
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:
The caterpillar pupates in its rolled leaf shelter.
The adult butterflies are brown, with pale yellow and dark brown 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.
The eggs are brown and laid singly on the upper surface of leaves of a foodplant. The eggs are basically spherical but with a squashed bottom. The eggs each have 16 vertical ribs, and about 100 shallow microscopic horizontal grooves. Each egg has a diameter of about 1 mm.
The species occurs most of the eastern half of Australia as two subspecies :
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.
(updated 18 December 2009, 27 September 2013, 18 July 2020, 7 October 2021)