Spiny Leaf-Mining Beetle

Dicladispa (?)

a hispine leaf beetle, Cassidinae, from Mt. Kenya Forest photo © by Michael Plagens

Feeding lightly on foliage of Pavonia (Malvaceae) along sunny trail through Mt. Kenya Forest Reserve, Kirinyaga, Kenya. June 2017.

Would an insect eating bird notice the prickly surface of this beetle and avoid attempting to swallow it?.

The larvae of Hispines (the subgroup of Chrysomelidae to which this beetle belongs) are flattened dorsally-ventrally and this morphology is related to their feeding behavior. The larvae tunnel inside leaves between the upper and lower surface. A hyaline window appears where the intervening leaf tissue has been removed. There are many other species of these Hispine Leaf Beetles, each with a rather narrow range of plants upon which the larvae feed.

Chrysomelidae -- Leaf Beetle Family
Cassidinae -- Tortoise ans Hispine Beetles

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 25 May 2018.