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Rosemary Beetle Chrysolina americana (Linnaeus, 1758)

Chrysolina americana
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 1 July 2012
  • A southern European species which has spread widely in Britain since first noted in 1994. (RHS page)
  • Feeds on rosemary, lavender, thyme, sage and some other related plants in the Lamiaceae (Labiate) family
  • NBN Atlas


Chrysolina oricalcia (O.F.Müller, 1776)

Chrysolina americana
  • Cambridge, Adams Road TL437587, 13 Sep 2016
  • Quite a large leaf beetle, around 9mm long. Can have a bluish or brassy tinge.
  • Larvae feed on cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris); adults live among low vegetation.
  • Widespread but local (notable B) throughout England and southern Scotland. NBN Atlas


Asparagus Beetle Crioceris asparagi (Linnaeus, 1758)

Crioceris asparagi
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 9 Jul 2003
  • Adults and larvae both feed on asparagus fronds and may become a pest on asparagus crops.
  • NBN Atlas


Cryptocephalus pusillus Fabricius, 1777

Cryptocephalus pusillus
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 15 Jul 2016
  • Female: males have dark markings on elytra.
  • Small at only 3mm so likely to be overlooked.
  • Cryptocephalus spp. are known as pot-beetles from the way that eggs are laid in "pots" made from faecal material. The larva develops in the pot feeding on leaf litter.
  • C. pusillus is associated with oak, birch, willow, poplar, hazel and other trees.
  • Southern & central England and Wales. NBN Atlas


Galeruca tanaceti (Linnaeus, 1758)

Galeruca tanaceti Galeruca tanaceti
  • Cambridge, Cherry Hinton West Pit, TL482555; 6 Oct 2015
  • A large leaf beetle which sometimes masses in large numbers. Feeds on a wide variety of herbaceous plants.
  • Females, as here, have elytra shorter than the abdomen, and swollen abdomen when gravid.
  • NBN Atlas


Scarlet Lily Beetle Lilioceris lilii (Scopoli, 1763)

Lilioceris lilii
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 13 Apr 2004
  • Not native to Britain but introduced ca.1940, now widespread.
  • Also introduced to North America where it has no natural enemies.
  • Adults and larvae can be pests on Lilium and Fritillaria
  • Length (head + body): 8mm
  • NBN Atlas


Ceral Leaf Beetle Oulema melanopus agg.

Oulema melanopus
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 20 Aug 2001
  • Adults and larvae both feed on leaves of cereal crops and may become a pest.
  • Synonym: Lema melanopa
  • Identification is sensu lato: the species O. melanopus (Linnaeus, 1758) and O. rufocyanea (Suffrian, 1847) can only be distinguished by dissection. O. rufocyanea is believed to be the commoner in Britain.
  • Larger scale image
  • NBN Atlas


Celery Leaf Beetle Phaedon tumidulus (Germar, 1824)

Phaedon tumidulus Phaedon tumidulus
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 15 Jul 2015. Larva Trumpington Meadows TL433543, 2 Jun 2015.
  • Found on a range of umbellifers, particularly Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), often in large numbers causing serious damage to leaves
  • Black larvae on the same plants
  • Very widespread. NBN Atlas


Viburnum Leaf Beetle Pyrrhalta viburni (Paykull, 1799)

Pyrrhalta jacobaeae
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 18 Jul 2015.
  • Larvae feed on Viburnum spp. and can skeletonise the leaves. Ranked No. 1 pest in Britain in 2010 by the RHS.
  • Widespread in England. NBN Atlas


Tribe Alticini - Flea Beetles

Willow Flea Beetle Crepidodera aurata (Marsham, 1802)

Crepidodera aurata
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 6 May 2001
  • A powerful jumper - accelerations as high as 270g have been measured (Brackenbury & Wang, 1995)
  • Synonym: Chalcoides aurata
  • Length (head + body): 3mm
  • NBN Atlas


Tansy Ragwort Flea Beetle Longitarsus jacobaeae (G.R.Waterhouse, 1858)

Pyrrhalta jacobaeae
  • Cambridge, Mill Road Cemetery, TL46155828. 18 Sept 2015.
  • Flea beetle which has been used as a biological control agent against one of its food-plants, Common ragwort (Senecio jacobaea).
  • Widespread throughout Britain and Ireland. NBN Atlas


Small Striped Flea Beetle Phyllotreta undulata Kutschera, 1860

Phyllotreta undulata
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 6 Jul 2016.
  • Very similar to the slightly larger Phyllotreta nemorum but with parti-coloured legs
  • Found on various brassicas, larvae among the roots.
  • Widespread. NBN Atlas


Sphaeroderma testaceum (Fabricius, 1775)

Sphaeroderma testaceum
  • Cambridge, Bramblefields LNR TL472606, 9 Aug 2016.
  • Has a wider pronotum than Longitarsus jacobaeae, and broader at the base.
  • Feeds on various thistles and knapweed.
  • NBN Atlas


Subfamily Cassidinae - Tortoise Beetles

Cassida rubiginosa O.F.Müller, 1776

Cassida rubiginosa
  • Cambridge, Trumpington Meadows, TL432543. 9 Jun 2015
  • Tortoise beetles, subfamily Cassidinae, are broad and flat, with the underside not visible from the side and the head completely hidden under the thorax.
  • The larvae are spiny and protect themselves with their own frass
  • This species feeds on thistles, common Knapweed, Greater Burdock, and other Compositae.
  • Throughout England & Wales, local in Scotland. NBN Atlas


Cassida vibex Linnaeus, 1767

Cassida vibex
  • Cambridge, Byron's Pool LNR, TL438548. 26 May 2015
  • Distinctive broad dark line along the suture
  • On a similar range of plants to C. rubiginosa
  • Mainly southern. NBN Atlas


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