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Aerarium Leaf Beetle - Paropsisterna octolineata

Subfamily Chrysomelinae, FAMILY CHRYSOMELIDAE 

This page contains pictures and information about Aerarium Leaf Beetles that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.

Body length 18mm
Aerarium Leaf Beetle is the largest leaf beetle we ever found and it is one of the most handsome insects we ever saw. The beetle was shiny reddish-brown in colour with dark brown strips.  
We saw this Leaf Beetle on gum leaf in Karawatha Forest during mid-summer Dec 2004. 
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It did not try to escape from our disturb, not fly away nor drop to ground as other leaf beetles often do.
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In a rainy summer day Jan 2005, we found another Aerarium Leaf Beetle resting on gum leaf with antenna and legs under covered, seemed it was sleeping. When we disturbed it, it walked away slowly. It seemed quite tolerant to our approaching. 
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We found only one beetle on the host plant. We look around and could not find any larvae or eggs neither. For other leaf beetle species, such as the Variole Paropsine Beetle and the Eucalyptus Leaf Beetle, we sometimes find many adults, larvae and eggs on the same plants.
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The beetle's case was so shiny that you can see me holding the camera in the reflection. 
One end Feb 2010 in Karawatha Echidna Trail, we saw this leaf beetle again. We were so happy, just like meeting a long lost friend. 
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The beetle was feeding on a gum leaf.
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After we took a few photos, it slowly walked away and hided under between two leaves.
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One the same plant, we found another Aerarium Leaf Beetle hiding, it was 1mm or 2mm smaller in size. It dropped onto ground after we took one photo.
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The food plants

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The beetle was found on a medium size Stringy Bark Gum tree. No other adults or larvae were found on the same tree. 
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Please visit our Leaf Beetles for general information about this Aerarium Leaf Beetle.
Thank to Chris Reid for the identification of this leaf beetle.  
1. A taxonomic revision of the Australian Chrysomelinae, with a key to the genera (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) - Reid, C.A.M., Zootaxa 1292, 2006, Fig 57.
2. Paropsisterna lignea - PaDIL, Pest and Diseases Image Library, 2007. 

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Last updated: February 20, 2011.