Paropsine beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in south-eastern Queensland hardwood plantations: identifying potential pest species.
Paropsine chrysomelid beetles are significant defoliators of Australian eucalypts. In Queensland, Australia, the relatively recent expansion of hardwood plantations has resulted in the emergence of new pest species. Here I identify paropsine beetles collected from Eucalyptus cloeziana Muell. and E. dunnii Maiden, two of the major Eucalyptus species grown in plantations in south-eastern Queensland, and estimate the relative abundance of each paropsine species. Although I was unable to identify all taxa to species level, at least 17 paropsine species were collected, about one-third of which have not been previously associated with hardwood plantations. Paropsis atomaria Olivier and P. charybdis Stål were the most abundant species collected in E. cloeziana plantations, while Chrysophtharta cloelia (Stål) and P. atomaria were most commonly collected from E. dunnii. Occasional collections from Corymbia citriodora (Hook.) Hill and Johns. ssp. variegata revealed an additional four species implicated in plantation damage. Abundance and voltinism varied between species and sites. I predict which paropsine species are likely to threaten plantation productivity.