Thursday, 11 September 2008

Blue Metallic Flea Beetle

.....Altica pagana

These small Leaf Beetles (family: Chrysomellidae) are brilliant in colour, like little iridescent jewels. They are only around 5mm in length. There common name, flea beetle, alludes to their ability to jump. This morning I saw at least 150 of them all within a half metre of each other. They were mostly in 3 large groups as can be seen in the photos but with a few individuals scattered here and there. They were on a piece of treated pine which forms the edge of a pathway.

The larvae of these leaf beetles will feed on plants of the Rosacea family. The adults are on the wing from spring through to autumn.


(Click Photos to Enlarge)

Blue Metallic Flea Beetle - Altica pagana



Blue Metallic Flea Beetle - Altica pagana


Blue Metallic Flea Beetle - Altica pagana


6 comments:

  1. What little beauties Mosura, new ones for me.

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  2. Can they survive /in/on treated pine?

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  3. Thanks Duncan - These were new for me too.

    Thanks Tony - They eat leaves. I have no ideas why they were congregating like that on the ground,. Perhaps they fell from above.

    Thanks Tilcheff - They really were Jewell like. Amazing just to look at.

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  4. Fantastic photos Mosura. Iridescence in beetles is fascinating.

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  5. Thanks Boobook - It sure is.

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