Groundselbush Beetle Larva

Subject: Rainbow larva
Location: Southwest Louisiana
April 18, 2014 6:35 pm
Located these beauties munching on a small tree a few hundred yards from the coast here in southwestern Louisiana. Relatively small at less than a 1/2 inch. Not very active and pretty much play dead when disturbed. Internet search turned up nothing. Any ideas?
Thank you!!
Signature: Karla

Groundselbush Beetle Larva
Groundselbush Beetle Larva

Hi Karla,
We were just going to write back that this is the larva of a Leaf Beetle in the family Chrysomelidae, but we decided to continue searching for its species identity.  After a bit of searching, we found a matching image of a Groundselbush Beetle Larva,
Trirhabda bacharidis, on BugGuide, and we are confident that it is the correct identification for your individual.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae and adults feed exclusively on leaves of Baccharis (Asteraceae) and it has been “Introduced into Australia and Asia to control Baccharis.”  We thought this was a new species for our site, but we were wrong.

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