Dermolepida albohirtum, the cane beetle, is a native Australian beetle and a pest of the sugar cane.
Adult beetles eat the leaves of sugar cane but greater damage is done by their larvae hatching underground and eating the roots, which either kills or stunts the growth of the plant.
The grub feeds off the roots of the sugar cane during all three stages of its life. The third stage occurs during February to May where it aggressively feeds on the sugar cane’s roots.
This is where they cause the most damage to the plant. The grub burrows down to turn into a pupa once it is fully fed after 3–4 months of aggressive feeding. The pupa develops into a beetle within a month. The beetles do not emerge from the soil until the weather conditions are adequate