Arrow Poison Flea Beetle Polyclada
Family: Chrysomelidae. Subfamily: Galerucinae. Tribe: Alticini
Male, Kruger National Park, Skukuza
The Alticini is a tribe composed of minute to medium sized beetles, whose enlarged hind femora and renowned jumping ability have earned them the common name of ‘flea beetles’. They are highly specialised phytophagous insects. Both the adult and larval stages feed on stems, leaves or roots, and rarely on flowers, in almost all the higher plant families. The tribe Alticini includes 4, 000 to 8, 000 species, grouped in approximately 500 genera. This taxon has a world-wide distribution, but occurs mainly in the tropical regions of South America, Africa and Asia.
Sixteen species of Polyclada
have been described. They have Antennae with 11 antennomeres. Antennomeres 4–10 pectinate or flabellate in male and serrate in female.
The larvae are used to make arrow poison for hunting. Polyclada
beetles, along with beetles in the related genus Diamphidia
, are noteworthy because their larvae bioaccumulate toxins derived from the plants on which they feed.