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

Logo: What Bug Is That? Logo: Taxonomy Research & Information Network

Attelabidae Billberg, 1820


Three distinct groups are represented in Australia: Rhynchitinae (Auletini, Auletobius ), Attelabinae (Attelabini, Euops ), and Car . Rhynchitinae have varied habits, some laying their eggs in terminal shoots, flower buds or fruits, and others mining leaves; the habits of Australian Auletobius are not known, but exotic Auletini breed in acorns of Quercus and have been associated with Cistus and Tamarix . Attelabinae are leaf rollers, the female laying eggs in cut portions of leaves, which she curls forming a roll in which the larvae develop; Euops in Australia form leaf rolls on Eucalyptus and Acacia . The position of Car has been disputed, but Kuschel (1983) considered it to be a rhynchitine, related to the South American Caenominurus and the Cretaceous Baissorhynchus . Car have been associated with species of Callitris (Cupressaceae), but their exact habits are not known. [Gardner 1934; Hoffmann 1958.]


Oblong to slightly elongate beetles, narrowed anteriorly and subglabrous or clothed with decumbent and erect hairs. Rostrum short, flattened and apically expanded ( Euops ) or long and narrow; antennae straight and inserted dorsally or ventrally ( Car ) at base of rostrum; gular sutures fused; mandibles exodont (with outwardly projecting teeth) except in Euops ; labrum not visible; maxillary palps well developed, but labial palps may be highly reduced; prothorax much narrower than elytral bases and without lateral carinae; tarsal claws connate at base, except in Car , and cleft in Auletobius ; pygidium partly or completely exposed in Euops ; first 3 or 4 ventrites solidly fused, except in Car , where they are separated by deep grooves and thus appear movable.

Known larvae are relatively short and broad, strongly curved, somewhat narrowed at each end and very lightly sclerotised. Head strongly retracted in some Rhynchitinae but only slightly so in Attelabinae; labral rods present; most abdominal terga with 2 transverse folds (sometimes indistinct); some Rhynchitinae with bands of tergal asperities.