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Australian Wildlife

  Elm Leaf Beetle (Xanthogaleruca luteola)





Elm Leaf Beetle | Xanthogaleruca luteola photo
Elm Leaf Beetle

Image by Siga - GNU Free Documentation License.    (view image details)

Elm Leaf Beetle | Xanthogaleruca luteola photo
Elm Leaf Beetles

Image by Siga - GNU Free Documentation License.    (view image details)



ELM LEAF BEETLE FACTS

Identification
The Elm Leaf Beetle is a yellowish beetle with a black stripe along their elytra (protective wing covers) and three or four distinctive black spots on the thorax. The larvae are all black or black and yellow. Pupae are orange yellow with black bristles. In autumn, adult beetles sometimes enter homes to winter, emerging again in spring. This can be disconcerting as people sometimes worry that they have borers in their homes when they see these beetles, but the Elm Leaf Beetles cause no damage to house or property, other than being a bit of a nuisance.

Size
Adult beetles are about 6mm long. Larvae grow to 13mm

Food
Both the larvae and adults cause damage to Elm trees by feeding on the leaves (they are not borers and do not damage the wood). In severe cases they can defoliate the tree. Adult beetles chew holes in the leaves, while larvae skeletonise the leaves eating everything but the veins.

Breeding
The female beetle lays yellow eggs in clusters of 5 to 25 on the undersides of leaves. The larvae hatch out and feed on the leaves. When the larvae are ready to pupate they migrate down the trunk and pupate in the soil or in a crevice in the lower trunk bark.

Range
The Elm Leaf Beetle is an introduced species of beetle from Europe. It was found on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in 1989 and has spread to Melbourne and surrounding areas.



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Coleoptera
Family:Chrysomelidae
Genus:Xanthogaleruca
Species:luteola
Common Name:Elm Leaf Beetle