Leaf Beetle Andrew Harvey/Flickr

Leaf Beetles

Lamprolina spp.

Did You Know?

  • Leaf Beetles are also known as Pittosporum Beetles or Bursaria Beetles, after their host species
  • There are 13 species of Lamprolina in Australia and all have similar coloured markings
FactBox Image

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

The beetles have a bright red head and pronotum with an entirely blue or green body. The larvae have a brown head with six distinct black eye spots on each side. Pale underside, dark upperside with dark spines.

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

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.

Behaviour

Diet

Entirely leaf-based diet. Bursaria spinosa, a ClimateWatch plant species, 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.

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What to Observe

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

Climate Adaptations

Warmer conditions, as a result of climate change, could mean that the beetle larvae develop more quickly and become adults sooner. If their food sources also start flowering earlier, there is a possibility that the beetles will have to change their feeding behaviour or their populations could diminish.

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When and Where

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 Queensland
  • Host plants of the Lamprolina belong to the genera Bursaria and Pittosporum
  • In the Cumberland Plains, the woodlands are dominated by Eucalyptus tereticornis and E. moluccana
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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.