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Staghorn Fern Beetle

Halticorcus platycerii

Description:

Small shiny black beetles with 4 bright small orange patches on their elytra. Padded feet were white. Black tipped antennae were about half the body length.

Habitat:

Staghorn fern in the back yard - suburban bush

Notes:

We've had this fern for over 20 years and have never before seen such devastation. These little beetles appeared from nowhere and within 3 weeks decimated the fronds leaving thin brown strips.
They've disappeared and hope they do not return.
We have not noticed any significant factor that would have brought this on.... still researching.
If anyone knows of these little Chrysomelids, I would love to hear your comments.
H. patycerii is the only known Chrysomelid to be restricted to ferns (Filicopsida & Pteridophyta).
family: CHRYSOMELIDAE
subfamily : Galerucinae
tribe: Alticini

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Leuba Ridgway
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Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria, Australia

Spotted on Dec 9, 2020
Submitted on May 27, 2021

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