Animal Species:Paropsine Beetle
Paropsine beetles are a group of moderately large and often brightly coloured leaf beetles belonging to several genera of the family Chrysomelidae.
Number of species
1cm - 1.5 cm
Paropsine beetles are found throughout Australia.
Paropsine beetles live in urban areas, forests and woodlands, and heath.
Feeding and Diet
Paropsine beetles feed primarily on eucalypts and acacias. Both the adults and larvae eat plant material and are extremely poisonous if eaten. Adult beetles often have peck marks where birds have attempted to eat them but rejected them after tasting the poison.
Other behaviours and adaptations
One of their characteristics is that they can withdraw their legs and antennae from predators while sitting on a leaf.
Predators, Parasites and Diseases
Parasitism by tachinid flies can affect as many as 98% of all paropsine beetle larvae.
Paropsine beetles may be pests in commercial eucalypt plantations. However, they rarely cause long-term damage as their numbers are controlled by parasitic flies of the family Tachinidae that lay eggs on the beetle larvae. The fly maggots eat the beetle grubs' insides.