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Casebearer beetle

Metallactus quindecimguttatus (Fabricius, 1775)

Description:

Small ((+/- 1.5mm), very colorful beetle. Its name (quindecimguttatus) refers to the 15 yellow blotches it has over that striking red body. These beetles feed on Eucalyptus sp. tree leaves, with significant economic importance in areas forested with those trees.

Habitat:

A small patch of grassland in a rural area.

Notes:

The Chrysomelidae family has nineteen subfamilies, divided into five sections, among them, the Camptosomata section, which includes the subfamilies Clytrinae, Cryptocephalinae, Chlamisinae and Lamprosomatinae, presenting a peculiarity in reproduction and development: the females cover the eggs with fecal material, forming a protective layer for eggs (“egg-case”) which, after hatching the larvae, will be used as a protective “case” (escatoteca) by the larvae. The eschatoteca increases as the larvae grow and for this reason, Camptosomata are called, in English, “casebearers” (Erber, 1988).

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Sergio Monteiro
Spotted by
Sergio Monteiro

Santa Catarina, Brazil

Spotted on Jan 17, 2021
Submitted on Jan 17, 2021

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