Turns out there are several small, shiny blue-black beetles out there that devour leaves. The Blue or Cobalt Milkweed beetle, the Grape Flea beetle, and the imported Willow Leaf Beetle, which is what I think this is. Plagiodera versicolor.These shiny critters were not on willow leaves, as far as I could tell, but along the same stretch of road there were some willows, and they had these amazing cone galls on them:Created by a gall insect, or rather, the plant’s response to the insect larva, whose chemistry causes the plant to grow abnormally. Rebecca in the Woods first turned me onto this variety of gall. Check out some of my other adventures in the weird and wonderful world of galls.
amphibians ants Arizona bees beetles birding birds books Brooklyn Brooklyn Botanic Garden Brooklyn Bridge Park butterflies Cape May caterpillars Catskills Central Park cicadas Climate crabs Croton Point damselflies Dartmoor Dead Horse Bay dragonflies fish flowers Floyd Bennett Field Fort Tilden Four Sparrow Marsh frogs fungus galls Gastropoda Geology Gowanus Green-Wood harbor honey bees horseshoe crab Hudson Iceland insects invertebrates Jamaica Bay ladybugs Maine mammals Marine Park mollusca Montreal moths mushrooms Nantucket New Mexico New York Botanical Garden Odonata owls plants Prospect Park Ranger Robin Red Hook reptiles shells slugs snails spiders St. John Staten Island Texas Thoreau trees turtles Virgin Gorda wasps Wheeler Woods
This work by Matthew Wills is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.