Beautiful Beetle
October 28, 2009
As we live in the southern hemisphere, we are currently in the midst of spring with summer close at hand. For us, this means we will be seeing more and more bugs (woo-hoo). That being said, my kids and I found this beautiful beetle early this morning on the sidewalk outside their school. We immediately rescued it so that it would not get stepped on by the students. I let it walk around the palm of my hand so that we could let my children’s classmates admire it as well. It is a beautiful shiny hard-shelled beetle. When walking, it does so quite quickly, but remains fairly still for the most part. It is about an inch and a half from the tip of it’s nose to the tip of its rear, and the antennas add about another half an inch to its overall length, with a thickness of abo ut a quarter of an inch. I have searched and searched but I cannot identify what type of beetle it is. Any ideas? Another interesting note: Shortly after I returned home and placed it on a branch to retrieve my camera, it slowly and deliberately excreted something onto the branch from the tip of it’s rear. It would slowly move forward bit by bit as it attached the excretion to the branch. The beetle then ‘patted’ it to be certain it was firmly attached to the branch. The excretion is tan in color, about a quarter by an eighth of an inch, and has an oval-rounded shape to it. It resembles a very flattened rolly polly with a clearish tan coating over it. Could this be a single larvae? Thanks for anything you might be able to tell us about this wonderful creature.
Todd Madsen
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Unidentified Beetle from Brazil

Leaf Beetle from Brazil

Hi Todd,
We are requesting assistance with your beetle.  Our initial impression is that it is a Leaf Beetle in the family Chrysomelidae.  We hope Eric Eaton can verify that.

Unidentified Beetle from Brazil

Leaf Beetle from Brazil

Right on!  Yes, it is indeed a leaf beetle in the family Chrysomelidae, subfamily Hispinae.  Many are leaf miners, but I can’t imagine this large species being one of them:-)

Karl locates some images online
Hi Daniel:
Everyone is right! Following Eric’s lead, the genus is Coraliomela (Hispinae: Alurnini). But there are several species in that genus in Brazil and there is very little information to be found, so that is likely as close as we are going to get. Chances are that at least some look quite similar (e.g., C. tetramaculata). Regarding the behavior described by Todd, I would guess the beetle was laying eggs – I can’t think what else it may have been doing. From what I could gather, some and perhaps all Coraliomela species feed on palms; the larvae of C. brunnea (an entirely red species), for example, are considered one of Brazil’s most important pests on coconut seedlings. I can’t tell if the plant in Todd’s photo is a palm. Regards.

Location: Brazil

2 Responses to Leaf Beetle from Brazil: Coraliomela tetramaculata

  1. Osvaldo Di Iorio says:

    Hello ! The beetle is one species of Coraliomela. I believes that some “species” in this genus (if they are really species can hybrize). The specimen is phenotypically intermediate betwee C. aeneoplagiata (Lucas) and C. thoracica (Perty), and can not be adscribed to any species of the genus in particular.
    I am making a taxonomic revision discussing these issues, and I would like to obtain permission for use the photograph as a good example of this. Best regards !

    • bugman says:

      What’s That Bug? frequently grants permission to use images from our site in legitimate publications. This is a six year old posting, and we can no longer contact Todd Madsen who submitted the images. Please credit him as the photographer and note that the images are published on What’s That Bug? and you may use the images. We will search our files to see if we have higher resolution images available.

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