Red Shouldered Leaf Beetle

Red Shouldered Leaf Beetles (Monolepta australis) are about 6 mm long, yellow in colour with red patches over the shoulders and near the distal end of wing covers. Eggs are laid in the soil surface, mainly in pastures, and the larvae, which are about 5 mm long when full-grown, feed on the grass roots and pupate in the soil. The life cycle takes about two months during summer and there are three to four generations annually. Adults usually emerge from the soil after good rains following a dry spell. Larvae feed on plant roots. Adults skeletonise foliage, especially on flushes. Swarms can invade the cotton and cause serious damage within 2-3 hours.