Poneridia semipullata (Clark, 1864)
Fig Tree Leaf Beetle
(formerly known as Galleruca semipullata)
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com )
Stella Crossley

(Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

These grubs are not true Caterpillars, but are the larvae of the beetle Poneridia semipullata in the family CHRYSOMELIDAE. Initially the larvae are pale yellow with a black head. As they develop, they acquire black warts along the body.

(Photo: courtesy of Chris Quinn, Frenchs Forest, New South Wales)

Later they become entirely dark grey. They grow to a length of about 1.5 cms. They are often communal, eating in a group the leaves of their food tree. They have been found feeding on a variety of species of MORACEAE including

  • Morton Bay Fig ( Ficus macrophylla ), and
  • Weeping Figs ( Ficus benjamina ).

    Other species of beetle larvae in the family CHRYSOMELIDAE feed on the foliage of other trees.

    The adult beetles are brown with a black mark on the back of the thorax. The adult beetles feed on the foliage of the same trees as the larvae.

    These beetles are found in

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.

    Further reading :

    Rev. H. Clark,
    Descriptions of new Australian Phytophaga,
    Journal of Entomology,
    Volume 2, Part 11 (1864), p. 257.

    Australian Not-Caterpillars
    Australian Not-Moths

    (updated 12 November 2012, 21 November 2017)