Subfamily Chrysomelinae, FAMILY CHRYSOMELIDAE
This page contains information and pictures about Acacia Leaf Beetles that
we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
- Body length 12mm
This Acacia Leaf Beetle is the most common leaf beetle that found in
reddish-brown in colour. We easily found many of them on the Acacia trees, from early summer to
later summer. Both adults and larvae feed on Acacia leaves. They usually found
on larger Acacia trees of trees taller than 2 meters.
- Most other Leaf Beetle adults only found during mid summer season. The
Beetle adults can be found on Acacia all year round in Brisbane,
although larvae mostly found in summer season.
Acacia Leaf Beetle Eggs
- Female laying egg on Acacia
The egg just laid
early summer, we found something look like insect eggs on an Acacia leaf,
near them there was some Acacia Leaf Beetle adults. We believed they are their
eggs. We brought them home and a week later, the eggs turned into three little
beetle larvae, dark brown in colour, with the same body shape as the later
- Eggs 2mm, 1st
- A week later, we found
another batch of eggs on an Acacia leaf, the egg colour look a little bit
different. We took them home, later in the evening, those eggs started to hatch
as shown in the above picture. The dark larvae had came out a few minutes ago
and starting to eat its egg case. The lighter brown colour one had just came out.
Watch carefully, we can see the other two egg case were about to open.
Larvae and Pupa
- Larva body length
- Early summer we found many colourful larvae on a Acacia tree in Wishart
bushland. Their abdomen is round like a ball, orange-red in colour, with black
dots. They were feeding openly on leaves.
- At first we did not know they are the
Acacia Leaf Beetle larvae. Anyway, we thought they should be beetle
larvae. We collected two of them and brought them home with some Acacia leave
as their food.
- Pupa length 10mm
- The two larvae had no problem in a jar and kept on feeding on
the leaves. We clean the jar and put in new leaves every two days. They were slow moving. About a week later, they went down to the bottom of the jar and
rest without motion. A day later, they moult and became pupa. The pupa are not
motionless. If disturbed, they will quickly wave their abdomen a few times.
- After eight days, the two pupa turned into the Acacia Leaf Beetles. After keeping them a few
days, we brought them back to the bush.
- We found the Leaf Beetle eggs on Acacia leaf in Karawatha Forest during
early summer. We brought the leaf home with the eggs. We kept the eggs in a jar
and expected to see the Leaf Beetle nymphs came out. However, a few days later,
we saw some small black wasp flying inside the jar. Carefully inspected the
eggs, all eggs had a round opening, which is the typical mark made by parasitic
wasp when they emerge. All five eggs were infected.
The Host Plant
- Black Wattle
- Acacia leiocalyx
Black Wattles are one of the most common trees in Brisbane's Eucalypt forest
- Many of this species beetles can be found on the same Black Wattle trees.
Both adults and larvae can be found at the same time. They seems perfect large
wattle instead of young wattle. On some infected trees, every leaves might
have the beetles' bite marks.
- Thank to Chris
Reid for the identification of this leaf beetle.
- 1. Dicranosterna
immaculata - Botanic Gardens Trust.
- 2. A taxonomic revision of the Australian Chrysomelinae, with a key to the genera (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) - Reid,
C.A.M., Zootaxa 1292, 2006, Fig 39.
- 3. Wild
Plants of Greater Brisbane - Queensland Museum, 2003, p121.
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