What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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As far as is known, all Chrysomelidae are phytophagous, the adults feeding externally and the larvae externally or internally on a wide variety of higher plant tissues comprising roots, foliage, herbaceous stems, growing tips, leaves, flowers, pollen, fruits and seeds. Except for larvae of Cryptocephalini, which specialise on dead leaves, most chrysomelids feed on living tissue, and few, if any, occur in wood.


Beetles with extremely varied body form, but often subglabrous and brightly coloured. Antennae variable but usually filiform, very rarely enlarged apically to form an elongate clubwith 4 or more segments, never inserted on prominences, usually not extending beyond the middle of the body (shorter than in Cerambycidae). Head often with grooves or prominences; labrum visible; maxillae and labium well developed with flexible palps; head may be rostrate, but rostrum not longer than wide; lateral pronotal carinae often complete but may be incomplete or absent; distinct tibial spurs not common (except in Galerucinae); first 3 tarsal segments with lobes beneath them which are covered with spatulate or bifid, adhesive setae; 4th tarsal segment either minute and concealed at base of preceding segment (pseudotetramerous), or fused with terminal segment; tarsal claws sometimes cleft or appendiculate; basal ventrites never solidly fused as in most weevils.

Larvae also highly variable, but usually lightly sclerotised, except for head and sometimes numerous small plates or protuberances, and usually with well-developed legs. Head often hypognathous with median endocarina; mandibles usually with 3 or more apical teeth; labrum free except in Cryptocephalinae; rarely with urogomphi on T9.


The Australian species may be placed in 12 subfamilies, three of which are defined more broadly than in Britton (1970).

  • Diaphanos westermanni

  • Chrysomelidae

  • Chrysomelidae

  • Cadmus histrionicus

  • Bruchus pisorum

  • Paropsisterna (Chrysophtharta) sp.

  • Nesaecrepida infuscata; mimosa flea beetle