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eucalyptus tortoise beetle

Scientific Name
Paropsis atomaria
Scientific Author
Olivier
Taxonomy
(Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Chrysomelinae)
Status
Native Australian Pest Species
Native Australian Pest Species
Reliability
High
High
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Diagnostic Notes

Paropsis atomaria Olivier (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Paropsini), is a major pest of commercially grown eucalypts in South-East Australia.

Adult body length is about 10mm. Both adult and larval stages feed on eucalypt leaves.


Diagnostic features:

  • Adult chrysomelid beetles may look like ladybirds, but have longer antennae. It is important to distinguish between the two because ladybirds are beneficial insects size ranges from about 4 mm to 15 mm long
  • Many species are metallic, pink, yellow, beige or red
  • Some adults have finely patterned elytra (wing covers); some of these are strongly patterned with red and black
  • Larvae have well developed dark heads and three pairs of legs, most are pale, some with dark stripes along the body
  • Larvae feed on the soft, young growth in the crowns, giving a characteristic 'broom top' appearance
  • Scalloped leaf edges indicate adult leaf beetles feeding.

They feed on a wide range of eucalypts. The eggs are laid on young leaf or new stem. The eggs hatched and the larvae feed on the new Eucalypt leave in group. The larvae are pale brown in colour with black dots on body. Their heads and tails are black in colour. They have there pairs of thoracic legs but no abdominal legs.

There are four larval instars. When larvae are mature, they drop to the ground and pupate.


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