CHRYSOMELIDAE , COLEOPTERA
(Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)
These grubs are not true Caterpillars, but are the larvae various types of beetles ( COLEOPTERA ) in the genus Paropsis in the family CHRYSOMELIDAE. They are often communal, eating in a group the leaves of their food tree. The one illustrated here was feeding on the leaves of:
Other species of beetle larvae in the same family feed on the foliage of other trees. Initially the larvae are pale yellow with a black head. As they develop, they acquire black warts along the body. Later they become entirely dark grey They grow to a length of about 2 cms.
The adult beetles are typically brown, and also often feed on the foliage of the same tree as the larvae.
Further reading :
John T. Moss & Richard Zietek (with photos by Peter Hendry & Ryssel Denton)
An Introduction to Paropsine Leaf Beetles,
Metamorphosis Australia, Issue 54 (September 2009), pp. 1, 4-9,
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.
(updated 12 November 2012)