Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Alligator weed flea beetle ( Chrysomelidae : Agasciles )

Diagnostic features

Agasciles is a beetle with a grub-like larva, having short legs and a large soft abdomen. The adults have a body shape similar to many terrestrial beetles, and are about 5mm long with strong yellow and black longitudinal striping on the elytra (hard wing covers).

Typical habitats

The larvae and adults of Agasciles live on the aquatic pest plant alligator weed, but above the water so they are not strictly aquatic.


Because Agasciles feeds on alligator weed, it is used as a biocontrol agent.

Indicator value

The presence of Agasciles is more likely to reflect the presence of alligator weed, rather than any aspect of water quality. This genus has not been assigned tolerance values.