Netrocoryne repanda (C. Felder & R. Felder, [1867])
Bronze Flat
(one synonym : Goniloba vulpecula)
Don Herbison-Evans
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 ),
  • Camphor Laurel ( Cinnamomum camphora, LAURACEAE ),
  • Brush Box ( Lophostemon confertus, MYRTACEAE ),
  • Long-leaved Mock Olive ( Notelaea longifolia, OLEACEAE ),
  • Plum Pine ( Podocarpus elatus, PODOCARPACEAE ),
  • Flintwood ( Scolopia braunii, SALICACEAE ),
  • 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 and dark brown markings on the wings.

    Netrocoryne repanda
    (Photo: courtesy of Dave Britton)

    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
    egg on leaf (click for better view)

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

    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.

    Netrocoryne repanda
    egg, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Ken Walker, Avalon, New South Wales)

    The 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 Martin Purvis, Blackheath, New South Wales)

    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.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 18 December 2009, 5 January 2024)