Paropsis variolosa (Marsham, 1808)
Gum Leaf Beetle
(formerly known as Notoclea variolosa)
CHRYSOMELIDAE, COLEOPTERA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com )
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Cheryl Macaulay, Northcliffe, Western Australia)

This grub is not a true Caterpillars, but is the larva of a beetle. The larvae are black and corrugated, with a broad orange dorsal band, and rows of white spots. This one was found on a Gum Tree.

The grubs have the odd habit of elevating their tapered tail in the air, perhaps mimicking the behaviour of Sawfly larvae.


(Photo: courtesy of Peter Chew, Brisbane, Queensland)

The beetles of the various species in Paropsis are almost hemispherical with a diameter of about 1 cm. These beetles have various coloured patterns according to the species. The larvae of many of the these beetles lift the tail like that illustrated above.

The species Paropsis variolosa is found all over the whole of mainland Australia. Other similar species are found only in Tasmania.


Further reading:

Thomas Marsham,
Description of Notoclea, a new genus of coleopterous insect from New Holland,
Transactions of the Linnean Society of London Zoology,
Volume 9 (1808), p.285, and also Plate 24, Figure 1.


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(written 6 January 2018)