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Knotgrass Leaf Beetle - Chrysolina polita
Knotgrass Leaf Beetle - Chrysolina polita


Knotgrass Leaf Beetle
The Knotgrass Leaf Beetle (Chrysolina Polita) in the order beetles (Coleoptera), suborder Polyphaga, infraorder Cucujiiformia, the superfamily Chrysomeloidea and the family leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae), belongs to the subfamily Chrysomelinae and the genus Chrysolina. It is also known as Melasoma Polita and Chrysomela Polita. In older sources this genus was referred to as "Melasoma" and as "Chrysomela" in some countries. Chrysolina Polita are found throughout the Palearctic and are commonly encountered from Europe to Central Asia. .
Adults can reach body lengths of 6.5 to 8.5 mm. They are oval in shape and domed. Most parts of the body are a shiny dark metallic blue colour , with green or brass-like tones. Their forewings (elytra ) are reddish-brown and (when closed) show an approximately equilateral triangle at the upperside. The elytra are coarse to finely covered in small holes. Depending on light conditions, the head and scutellum appear black, dark blue or bronze-green in colour.
Because of their appearance, Chrysolina Polita can be confused with poplar leaf beetles (Chrysomela populi). Chrysolina Polita are encountered from March to October in different habitats, up to subalpine altitiudes. . Both the adult beetles and the larvae feed on the leaves of various plants, such as mint (water mint, cat mint), sage, or oregano.
Mating occurs from April on. Egg laying takes place a few days later, on the food plants of the larvae. More than a hundred eggs ( in separate groups of 20 or more) may be stored on the underside of leaves. After about one week the larvae hatch. The rear body of the larvae is beige or tan in colour. . Their heads, chests and three atrophied pairs of legs, are dark brown to black. They mature rapidly and in the last larval stage (about two to three weeks after hatching from the eggs) they pupate on the food plants One week later the beetles are fully developed and leave the cocoon. They overwinter in the soil as adults.


Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Knotgrass Leaf Beetle - Chrysolina polita
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