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Tortoise Leaf Beetle - male & female

Paropsisterna variicollis

Description:

Beautiful yellow green leaf beetles much like
http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/118...
spotted on a small leaf. In pic 1, the bigger of the two (on the right) had pale spots and grooved striae while the smaller beetle had smooth glossy elytra with faint lines and no patterns on the pronotum. The larger of the two soon dropped to the ground. I assume the larger one was a female and the smaller, a male. Pics 5 & 6 are of another female on the same tree. Her elytra parted for a split second and she expelled a tiny pellet which shot out (pic 5).

Habitat:

Spotted on a young eucalyptus tree - ? species.

Notes:

My assumption that there are both sexes in this spotting needs confirmation from an expert.
Martin, could you confirm please.
Family: Chrysomelidae

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2 Comments

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 7 years ago

Martin, Thanks for looking at this. I noticed the difference between the two but remembered two things:
- what you said about cloelia not having a black posterior margin in the head. The smaller beetle did have some black (not obvious because of retracted head)
- P.variicollis being variable or having a few variants.
I 'll leave it as such and see if we observe something similar again.

MartinL
MartinL 7 years ago

Oh, Leuba. I loose sleep over these.
the size difference is consistent with female and male but the other differences bother me. I cannot confidently identify the smaller beetle and feel it has some features such as shallow elytral striae and missing beading which I has attributed to cloelia. I have too many gaps in my knowledge to say for certain. Then it is a variable beetle.

Leuba Ridgway
Spotted by
Leuba Ridgway

Victoria, Australia

Spotted on Mar 9, 2015
Submitted on Mar 10, 2015

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