Hispoleptis Baly (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae) contains five species from South America (Staines 2012); two species are known to be associated with palms. Berti & Chenon (1973) studied the taxonomy of four species.


Hispoleptis elaeidis Aslam is found in Ecuador.

Hispoleptis subfasciata Pic is found in Brazil and Peru.


Hispoleptis elaeidis feeds on Elaeis guineensis Jacq. (Arecaceae) (Aslam 1965).

Hispoleptis subfasciata feeds on palms (Berti & Chenon 1973); Astrocaryum chonta Martius (Couturier & Kahn 1992); and Elaeis guineensis Jacq. (Hansson 2002) (Arecaceae).


Adults of H. subfasciata prefer to feed on the highest fronds, making small parallel feeding channels. In heavy infestations the grooves weaken the frond to the point that it is easily torn by the wind. Larvae mine fronds, destroying much of the leaf tissue. Mines turn brown giving the plant a scorched look (Genty et al. 1978; Couturier & Kahn 1992).

Life history notes

The female of H. subfasciata forms small depressions in the lower frond surface of older leaves and lays a pair eggs. Eggs hatch in about 20 days. Newly hatched larvae penetrate directly into the leaf; mines have a characteristic swollen appearance under the epidermis. The larval stage lasts about 40 days. Pupation occurs in the mine and lasts about 20 days. Newly emerged adults remain in the mine for 5 days before emerging and dispersing (Genty et al. 1978; Couturier & Kahn 1992).


Aslam, N. A. 1965. On Hispoleptis Baly (Coleoptera, Hispidae) and Imatidium F. (Coleoptera, Cassididae). The Annals and Magazine of Natural History (13) 8: 687-693.

Berti, N. & R. Desmier de Chenon. 1973. Coléoptères Hispinae d’Amerique du Sud nuisibles aux palmiers. Description d’une nouvelle espèce. Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France 80: 192-198.

Couturier, G. & F. Kahn. 1992. Notes on the insect fauna on two species of Astrocaryum (Palmae, Cocoeae, Bactridinae) in Peruvian Amazonia, with emphasis on potential pests of cultivated palms. Bulletin de l’Institut Français d’Etudes Andines 21 (2): 715-725.

Genty, P., R. Desmier de Chenon, J. P. Morin, & C. A. Korytkowski. 1978. Avageurs du palmira a huile en Amerique Latine. Oleagineux 33 (7): 325-415.

Hansson, C. 2002. Eulophidae of Costa Rica (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea), 1. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 67: 1-290.

Staines, C. L. 2012. Tribe Hispoleptini. Catalog of the hispines of the world (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae). http://entomology.si.edu/Collections_Coleoptera.html

Last updated November 2016