Bloaters 1

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Leaf beetles (chrysomelids), the often gaudy insects you see sitting on various plants in the summer have only a few short weeks in temperate climes to make use of the succulent foliage of their host plants. To fully exploit this flush of food the females can produce prodigious numbers of eggs, accommodated by a massively bloated abdomen. The species below, Agelastica alni (the alder leaf beetle) is quite a bloater. Here, the burgeoning abdomen no longer fits snugly beneath the elytra. Through the vanishingly thin cuticle of the abdomen it is even possible to make out the individual eggs.

A gravid female alder leaf beetle (Agelastica alni). Quite a bloater (Ross Piper).

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