Unexplained Beetle Behavior

January 27, 2010

Caraça Natural Park, Minas Gerais, Brazil

This beetle looks like a buprestid to me. The interesting thing is that it’s splitting this leaf lengthwise. In the second photo, you can see where the cut starts in the upper right. That would seem like an odd way to eat, so I suspect there’s some other purpose. Is anyone familiar with this behavior?

There’s also what appears to be a small wasp hanging out on the elytra.

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One Response to Unexplained Beetle Behavior

  1. I’m tempted to call that a leaf beetle in the subfamily Hispinae. I normally think of them as leaf miners, but it’s hard to imagine a species this large doing that also. I would have to think the leaf-splitting is somehow related to preparing an oviposition site, but this is a new one on me.

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