This little butterfly has done well by having its natural range expanded by the horticultural industry as well as illegal movement of its host plant palms. So most populations occurring outside of its native Queensland are centred around capital cities and major towns. Orange Palmdart caterpillars appear to manage with the flimsiest of silken shelters. This species occurs in all States of Australia excepting Tasmania.
Australian HesperiidaeCephrenes augiades caterpillarHesperiidaeAustralia butterfliesQueensland butterfliesNorthern Territory butterfliesWestern Australia butterfliesSouth Australia butterfliesVictoria butterfliesNew South Wales butterfliesOrange Palmdart
As a percentage of 'butterflydom' only a small number of species have opted for a crepuscular activity period in the dim hours of dusk and/or dawn. The advantages might be that nocturnal vertebrate predators are either just waking up in their shelters or heading back to their shelters after a night of hunting. The same goes for many orb-weaving spiders that begin constructing their webs during dusk, and many consume the valuable web silk protein before dawn. Only the least crepuscular species lacks red eyes. All four members of the genus have the habit of resting upside down under leaves during the day and all have been recorded at moth light traps. The Eastern Dusk-flat has the most southerly distribution on the eastern seaboard as far as southern New South Wales.
While this skipper is classed as Australia's largest species with females reaching 61.0mm wingspan it is dwarfed by Strecker's Giant Skipper of North America which attains 78.0mm. It is interesting to note that this skipper does not feed, other than sipping water, as an adult like some moth species. Regent Skipper caterpillars tend to hit their host shrub very hard so late instar caterpillars and pupae can be found within inches of each other. It has two subspecies - the northern E. rafflesia alba restricted to the wet tropics of north eastern Queensland and the nominate subspecies from south-eastern Queensland and adjacent northern New South Wales