Posts Tagged 'beetles'

Spotted Cucumber Beetle

Diabrotica undecimpunctataDiabrotica undecimpunctata on Liatris.

VLB Adult

Pyrrhalta viburni In less than a decade, the invasive Viburnum Leaf Beetle (Pyrrhalta viburni) has spread throughout most of New York State. They devour the leaves of viburnum species, key understory plants of our woodlands; a couple years infestation can kill the plant. I’ve seen the damage they do in Prospect Park, skeletonizing every leaf on a bush. In Brooklyn Bridge Park they’re trying to control things by hand.

But this was the first time I’ve run across one of the adult beetles. Yesterday in Prospect Park.

An Inordinate Fondness

beetleJ.B.S. Haldane is supposed to have said that the creator must have a special fondness for stars and beetles, because there are so many of them. And some of them — the beetles, not the stars — are awfully small.

There are 350,000-400,000 species of beetle — the exact number is probably impossible to know as new ones are discovered and known ones become extinct — making them the largest order of animal. This little number I found in a window sill.

Two-Spotted Sightings

My first ladybug of the year was spotted on the weekend. It was, no surprise, a Multicolored Asian, Harmonia axyridis, which you should expect to see just about everywhere. I also saw very small lady beetle I’m not yet sure of the identification of. But on Monday, I saw half a dozen Two-spotted, Adalia bicunctata, which made me very happy. (See the essay I wrote about these for Humans & Nature.) Adalia bipunctataThis is the classic form.

Adalia bipunctataThis is the black form. Yes, that’s a human neck it’s on.

VLB in BBP

Pyrrhalta viburniTwo of the gardeners at Brooklyn Bridge Park showed me the evidence of Viburnum Leaf Beetle that they were hunting down. The pits in the twig are egg cavities, dug into the tree by the mature beetle. The tiny larvae can just be seen.

The destructive invasive beetle is rampant through most city parks, but is so far kept at bay in BBP, which has multiple species of viburnum growing. Here’s what the damage looks like when it runs wild.

Still Hanging On

In early November, I found four adult Two-spotted Ladybeetles (Adalia bipunctata). Adalia bipunctataAnd without looking very hard. I just stood under the tree and looked up.Adalia bipunctata

Early Stages

larva1This is some kind of Lacewing larva. It was found predating under the Catalpa leaves, where the ladybugs are still to be found, too, deep into October. larva2On the rocks below the trees, a lady bug pupa.


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