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22 Mar 2015
Leaf Beetle on Bracken Fern in Alpine Ash Damp Forest.
Identified by Martin Lagerwey and Dr. Chris Reid (Australian Museum, Sydney).
I do not believe that your exciting beetle discovery is Paropsis intermedia although I can see why you consider the possibility. These are my reasons; 1/ the pronotum is uniquely very strongly puncturated (but more finely than the elytra). 2/ the pronotum is smooth along the lateral margins rather than weakly sinuate (wavy) as in intermedia. See my image and the reference image from PaDIL to demonstrate sinuate. https://sites.google.com/site/paropsispages/paropsis-intermedia
A closer match is Paropsisterna dilatata which (I think) is a Tasmanian endemic and still not an exact match anyway. https://sites.google.com/site/insectsoftaschrysomeloidea/suborder-polyphaga/chrysomelidae-leaf-beetles/subfamily-chrysomelinae/genus-paropsis/paropsis-dilatata
Peter Merriot has an image of your exact beetle (I think on Flickr, but not sure).
I am uncertain of your beetle and have not encountered one yet. I will try a little harder to solve it. I doubt that it feeds on fern.
22 Mar 2015
Thanks for the information, Martin. I'll follow up your links. The trees in the area were Eucalyptus delegatensis and the beetle may have fallen from the canopy above.
23 Mar 2015
I am inclined to point you to Paropsis montana. It fits in with my keys to this genus. I only know of museum specimens which do (sometimes) share the fine puncturations on the pronotum. It is the best feasible match in my opinion. https://sites.google.com/site/paropsispages/paropsis-montana