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Leaf Minning Beetle

Balyana sculptilis


The hispinae are part of the Cassidinae (tortise and leaf minning beetles). It has an elongated, flat body shape and punctate elytra and pronotum. As the name suggests these beetles display the same behaviour as the larvae of some moths and flies and mine into leaves to feed protected from predators and choose plant tissue with less cellulose.


Subtropical and wooded areas on the coast


Thanks to some new information from Project Noah Member MichaelGeiser, this is the only species in the genus in continental Africa while all the rest are found in Madagascar. B. sculptilis resides from eastern Africa down to southern Mozambique with no record in South Africa.It is quite possible it may have been brought here on plants.

1 Species ID Suggestions

leaf-mining beetle
Balyana sculptilis (Fairmaire, 1895) Fact Sheet: Balyana (s. str.) Peringuey 1898: 115 | Hispines of the World

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Michael Strydom
Michael Strydom 3 years ago

HI MichaelGeiser, many thanks for the helpful suggestion on this. I was a little stumped on this when I spotted him. None of my books listed him in the Western Cape either. Would be very interesting if he is was brought here on a plant. With the drought through 2018/2017 finally breaking in 2019 many gardens were re landscaped and a lot of plants came and went. It is quite possible. Thank you for this very interesting discovery.

MichaelGeiser 3 years ago

Quite an interesting record! It has to be Balyana sculptilis (Fairmaire, 1895), as this is the only species of the genus in continental Africa (all the rest are endemic to Madagascar). B. sculptilis is recorded from all over eastern Africa, down to southern Mozambique. But I'm not aware of any record from South Africa, and especially not from West Cape! Might have even been an introduction, maybe with some plants? Their host plant is still unknown. Possibly a palm.

Michael Strydom
Michael Strydom 4 years ago

I know, Lauren. They look like running shoes. :)

LaurenZarate 4 years ago

Love its little feet!

Michael Strydom
Spotted by
Michael Strydom

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Spotted on Nov 26, 2018
Submitted on Nov 26, 2018

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