Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Coreopsis leaf beetle

I HATE HATE HATE THIS BEETLE!
Photo by Terri Whaley, Texas Master Naturalist
Phaedon desotonis has returned with a vengeance and will soon decimate the greenthread in our Meadow. I just sent an email reporting the species in our Wildscape to the Institute for the Study of Invasive Studies. The coreopsis leaf beetle is native to southeastern North America, but it's getting way out of control.
Why? People are planting more host plants.
 
Earlier this week, Terri Whaley posted a photo (above) to our Texas Master Naturalist chapter (Highland Lakes), asking if anyone knew what beetle species he'd found swarming his coreopsis. He lives near Bertram. So start looking out for them! 

What can you do? I don't know. Last year, we let them run their course. The adults and larvae left the greenthread barely standing, just brown and brittle. The plants manage to survive. They put on new growth and bloomed. But it was sad.

 Here are my posts on the species last year:


I HATE HATE HATE THIS BEETLE!

2 comments:

Bluestem said...

Thanks for the information on this pest. They found my garden last year and, in a matter of days, demolished a plains coreopsis that I was hoping would spread across my garden. They are back again this year and feasting on my lanceleaf coreopsis. Fortunately, the beetle per leaf ratio in my garden is not as high as your photo indicates...yet.

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

And somehow the coreopsis survive. At least, ours regreened last summer and managed to bloom.

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