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.

Paropsine Beetle on leaf

 © Bruce Hulbert

Standard Common Name

Paropsine Beetle

Number of species

450

Size range

1cm - 1.5 cm

Distribution

Paropsine beetles are found throughout Australia.

Habitat

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.

Economic/social impacts

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.

Classification

Genus:
Paropsis
Subfamily:
Chrysomelinae
Family:
Chrysomelidae
Superfamily:
Chrysomeloidea
Suborder:
Polyphaga
Order:
Coleoptera
Class:
Insecta
Subphylum:
Uniramia
Phylum:
Arthopoda
Kingdom:
Animalia

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Tags beetles, insects, arthropods, invertebrates, identification, wildlife of sydney,