What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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This homogeneous family of skippers  is defined by the absence of stalked veins and the subapically thickened antennae (Kristensen 1976). Most species are diurnal, but a few are crepuscular. Their flight is rapid and rather jerky, and in repose the wings are held back to back, sometimes with the hind wings depressed, or are extended flat. The larvae of some species feed on dicotyledons, whereas most feed on monocotyledons. Six subfamilies are recognised (Ackery 1984) of which Pyrrhopyginae and Megathyminae do not occur in Australia. [Common and Waterhouse 1981.]


Small to medium-sized; head broad, with short slender scales; compound eye surrounded by row of small ommatidia; ocelli absent; chaetosemata present; antennae widely separated at base, scape with scale-tuft, flagellum gradually dilated apically to form club, usually with hooked tip; proboscis naked; maxillary palps absent; labial palps ascending; epiphysis present, spurs 0-0-4, 0-2-4, 0-2-2 or 0-0-2; fore wing without retinaculum (except male Euschemon ), veins arising separately from cell, CuP absent, 1A + 2A simple or forming basal fork; hind wing with frenulum absent (except male Euschemon ), humeral vein usually present, Sc connected to Rs near base by R 1 , veins arising separately from cell, CuP absent, 2 anal veins. Egg of upright type, smooth or with vertical ribs. Larva with primary setae obscured by abundant, fine, short, secondary setae; constricted behind large head; crochets bi- or triordinal in a circle; in silk-lined shelter between joined leaves or in longitudinally rolled leaf. Pupa in larval shelter, attached by cremaster and usually by a central silken girdle.

  • Chaetocneme beata; Eastern Dusk-Flat

  • Euschemon rafflesia ; Regent Skipper, male

  • Telicota sp.