Pennsylvania Flea Beetle

Flea beetles (as you may guess after seeing those big, folded, hoppy hind legs) are known for their prodigious jump. In general, they aggravate gardeners by making holes in leaves. This particular species, the Pennsylvania flea beetle (Disonycha pensylvanica) however, prefers wetland areas and not eating human crops. This ~5mm beetle has a black head,…

Flat-Faced Longhorn Beetle (Ecyrus dasycerus)

I’ve found a few of these strange little gray beetles in this odd position — with their antennae folded back, their front half braced on the top of the boardwalk railing and their back half dangling off the side — and I wonder if they aren’t just doing their best to pretend to be part…

Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle

This globular, yellow creature is the larva of a swamp milkweed leaf beetle, Labidomera clivicollis. Leaf beetles, in the family Chrysomelidae, tend to be named after the plants on which they specialize; as you may guess, the swamp milkweed leaf beetle eats the leaves of the swamp milkweed plant, Asclepias incarnata. These larvae will grow…

Cottonwood Leaf Beetle

Meet the cottonwood leaf beetle, Chrysomela scripta. These charming little beetles are about 6mm long. They are red, orange or yellow with black spots/broken black lines on the elytra, and a reddish or yellow margin on the thorax. Both adults and larvae really love leaves, to the point of skeletonizing them, and are serious defoliators…

Calligrapha Beetle

Why is there not more written about this family of darling little beetles? Something like 80 species and subspecies of leaf beetles in the genus Calligrapha roam from Canada to Argentina, each one uniquely striped, splashed, or spotted black against a vividly colored, often red, green, or gold, background. They are sometimes pestiferous and their…

Air Potato Leaf Beetle

The air potato beetle, Lilioceris cheni. This dainty beast is used to help control toxic air potato vines (Dioscorea bulbifera), which are invasive in Florida.