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Brassy willow beetle - Phratora vitellinae
Brassy willow beetle - Phratora vitellinae

Brassy willow beetle
The brassy willow beetle (Phratora vitellinae) belongs to the order beetles (Coleoptera), suborder Polyphaga, infraorder Cucujiiformia, superfamily Chrysomeloidea, family leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae), subfamily Chrysomelinae, tribe Phratorini and the genus Phratora. Scientific synonyms include: Phyllodecta vitellinae and Pharatora vitellinae. The brassy willow beetle is commonly encountered throughout Europe.
Phratora vitellinae - Rear view
Phratora vitellinae - Rear view
Adults can reach body lengths of 3-5 mm. Their elongated, domed, dark bodies have a strong metallic sheen, which is bronze, copper, blue, dark green and (more rarely) black in colour. The metallic blue-green to blue or black forewings (elytra ) have clearly visible dots, which run in multiple rows lengthwise. The head, scutellum and legs are a similar colour to the body but diffusely spotted have a scattering of dots. At the rear end of the body is a defensive gland, whose secretions determ both macrophages and enemies as also have disinfecting effects.
Brassy willow beetle - Front view
Brassy willow beetle - Front view
The brassy willow beetle is active from May to September. It mainly feeds on the leaves of poplars and willow trees. The females lay their eggs on the food plants of the larvae, which are the same as those of the adult beetles.
Group of Brassy willow beetles
Group of Brassy willow beetles
Phratora vitellinae - Brassy willow beetles
Phratora vitellinae - Brassy willow beetles
In the late larval stage, their bodies appear elongated and tapered in shape. They are beige in colour and darker than previously. Their heads are shiny dark brown and black and their back plates, reddish brown or dark brown in colour.
Each segment of the abdomen has dark brown bumps and dark brown bristles at the edges and in the middle. Their glands are dark brown and without hair. Their legs (3 pairs) are glossy dark brown to black. A few weeks after hatching, the larvae pupate on their food plants. One to two weeks later, the new generation of beetles hatch. Brassy willow beetles overwinter in the soil as adults.

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Brassy willow beetle - Phratora vitellinae
2. Phratora vitellinae - Rear view
3. Brassy willow beetle - Front view
4. Group of Brassy willow beetles
5. Phratora vitellinae - Brassy willow beetles
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