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Tortoise leaf beetle

Paropsisterna sp. (Poss decolorata)


A small tortoise beetle with finely tessellated patterns on the back and spectacular flaring from the base of the elytra.


In a nature reserve


The five vertical lines on the pronotum are a form that is consistently different to the typical 'decolorata'. The two dots on the elytra half way to the apex are odd. In the case of Paropsisterna minerva, simlar dots are definitive for that species.

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MartinL 4 years ago

"Tortoise beetle" is a term loosely applied to some leaf beetles in two subfamilies. They have the ability to totally conceal their antennae and feet under the flange of their elytra. In Chrysomelinae, it tends to include Paropsisterna, Paropsis, (Trachymela, Dichranostera etc.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paropsis In Cassidinae there are some genera mostly Asidomprpha and Cassida which also entirely cover their head. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassidinae.

Ladybird beetles feed on soft hemipterans such as aphids. Ants like these bugs too because they provide honeydew for nutrition. Ladybird beetles have evolved a hemispherical shell and the ability to withdraw their toes to prevent them getting nipped when the ant guard appears. Leaf beetles live innocently on the same habitat and although they are no competition for ants, they have still needed to evolve the same defense (covergent evolution.)
The true Paropsisterna gloriosa.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 4 years ago

Just wondering Martin why some are 'tortoise' ?

Spotted by

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Lat: -27.47, Long: 153.02

Spotted on Sep 22, 2014
Submitted on Sep 22, 2014

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