Unusual beetles were noted to be feeding on Prairie Ground Cherry leaves in November 2008 in a glasshouse. Samples were sent for identification and identity confirmed late December 2008. The glasshouse has been sprayed to control the beetle. It has also been detected at Cootamundra. Other known hosts: This beetle has been evaluated as a biocontrol agent for jimsonweed, Datura stramonium.
South American researchers have conducted feeding trials on D. ferox, Nicandra physaloides, Physalis viscosa, Nicotiana tabacum and N. glauca. Some damage is possible to isolated tobacco plants.
Native to South America, it was accidentally introduced to South Africa many years ago. It is very different in the adult stage from Lema triviatta which is widespread in Australia.