ClimateWatch

An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

  1. Lamprolina_-_glenda_walter Photo by Glenda Walter

Leaf Beetles

Lamprolina spp.

Description

Leaf Beetles are also known as Pittosporum Beetles or Bursaria Beetles, after their host species.

Appearance

  • Colour: bright red head and pronotum with an entirely blue or green body.
  • Size: 0.6 - 1.4 cm long; body narrow and flat. Length to width ratio ranges from 2:1 to 2.5:1. Length to height ratio is 3.5:1. 
  • Larvae: brown head with six distinct black eye spots on each side. Pale underside, dark upperside with dark spines. 

Behaviour

  • Diet: entirely leaf-based diet. Bursaria spinosa can be a host plant.
  • Breeding: eggs are laid on leaves or stems. Larvae hatch within one week. When fully grown, larvae migrate to the base of their food plant and pupate in the soil below for several months. 

What to Observe

  • Presence (to establish the first and last sighting for the season).

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

They are aposemtatic, meaning they are posionous to visual predators. Be very careful if handling them.

Warmer conditions, as a result of climate change, could mean that the beetle larvae develop more quickly and become adults sooner. If theri food sources don't also start flowering earlier, there is a possibility that the beetles will have to change their feeding bhaviour or their populations could diminish. (Ian Endersby, personal communication).

 

When To Look

All year round.

Where To Look

  • The genus is endemic to Australia but largely retricted to ranges and coastal plains in NSW and QLD.
  • In the Cumberlanbd Plains, the woodlands are dominated by Eucalyptus tereticornis and E. moluccana.
  • Host plants of the Lamprolina belong to the genera Bursaria and Pittosporum

Sightings

References

Reid, C 2006. A taxonomic revision of the Australian Chrysomelinae, with a key to the genera (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Zootaxa 1292.

Reid, C 1991. Immature stages of the genera Johannica Blackburna Lamprolina Baly and Chalcolampra Blanchard (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Chrysomelinae). Journal of Natural History.

Monaghan, N 2008. Leaf Beetles subfamily Chrysomelinea. lifeunseen.com.

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  1. What Else?

    As it is difficult to identify Lamprolina to species level, we welcome sightings of all Lamprolina as this information at the genus level is still value-adding to the ClimateWatch program.

  1. Did You Know?

    ClimateWatch plant species Bursaria spinosa is a host plant.

    There are 13 species of Lamprolina in Australia and all have similar coloured markings.

    Leaf Beetles are also known as Pittosporum Beetles or Bursaria Beetles, after their host species.