New invasive: red lily leaf beetle

Red lily leaf beetle, Lilioceris lilii

Red lily leaf beetle adults (photo by Eric LaGasa, WSDA, used by permission)

The red lily leaf beetle is newest pest to arrive in Washington. It was found in Bellevue, WA this spring by WSDA.  This beetle will create problems for hobby lily growers, gardeners, and commercial producers and purveyors of cut flowers. Hosts include Lilium spp. (true lilies, especially Asiatic lilies.), Fritillaria spp. (fritillaries), Polygonatum (Solomon’s seal), Solanum (nightshades and potato), Smilax spp. and Nicotianaspp. Early detection will limit damage and possibly limit the spread of this beautiful little insect. Damage includes: feeding along leaf margins by the red adults, and skeletonizing of the leaves by black larvae. Larvae are covered by their excrement – a very effective deterrent to predators as they look like a bit of soot.  Tiny red eggs are laid in clusters on the hosts listed. Please e-mail collmans@wsu.edu if you find this pest.  While there is not likely to be any regulatory action, we ourselves can reduce the spread of pests by quick personal local action and news sharing.

Red lily leaf beetle by Todd Murray, Eric LaGasa and Jenny Glass.

 

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Longhorned beetle grazing on thimbleberry pollen

Welcome to the tiny world of bugs and blights.  This blog focuses on diagnosis of plant problems and also honors the miriad of garden organisms that make your garden balanced and healthy.

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