Acalolepta mixta (Hope, 1842)
Fig Longicorn Beetle
(one synonym: Monohammus vastator Newman, 1847)
Don Herbison-Evans
( )
Stella Crossley

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

The word 'Bardy' or one of its phonetic equivalents, is used widely by different people in different communities for different species, as are many common names, which is why scientific names were invented. The name "Bardee Grub" is used most often for the larva of the beetle Bardistus cibarius, but is also used informally for any of the boring larvae of members of the CERAMBYCIDAE beetle family, and also for Caterpillars of the moth families COSSIDAE and HEPIALIDAE which bore into tree trunks or into the ground, especially Trictena atripalpis. The larvae are highly prized as bait by fishermen.

Being beetle larvae, they are not a true Caterpillars. They have the wrong number of legs, and are squarish in section and off-white in colour, with a brown head. They bore into the stems and branches of various trees.

The one illustrated above is Acalolepta vastator, and is a borer in :

  • Rubber Tree ( Ficus elastica, MORACEAE ).

    It grows to a length of up to 4 cms.

    Acalolepta vastator
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The adult is a brown beetle with very long antennae. It has a body length of about 2 cm., and antennae with a length of about 3 cms.

    Many people have wondered about rearing the larvae commecially. This could be possible if one could catch a gravid female, and provide the larvae with an artificial food medium, perhaps like the bark/clover/carrot diet used by Rachel Allan et al., for rearing Wiseana copularis.

    Further reading :

    Frederick William Hope,
    Observations on the Coleoptera of Port Essington, in Australia,
    Annals and Magazine of Natural History,
    Series 1, Volume 9 (1842), p. 428.

    Australian Not-Caterpillars
    Australian Not-Moths
    not Lepidoptera

    (updated 13 June 2010, 1 December 2023)