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Reddish Vale Country Park

Alder Leaf Beetle

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The alder leaf beetle is a relatively small beetle, around 6–7 mm, black or metallic blue in colour. The larvae are normally black.

 

The alder leaf beetle, Agelastica alni, is a species of leaf beetle (Chrysomelidae) in the genus Agelastica. Agelastica alni, is distributed in Europe, the Caucasuses, Siberia, north-eastern Kazakhstan, and in the 19th century was introduced to the USA.

 

Previously rare, it now appears to be on the increase in the Northwest.

 

The beetle and the beetle's larvae host on the grey or speckled alder (Alnus incana) and to a lesser extent black alder (Alnus glutinosa), but will be found on hazel, birch and/or hornbeam if there is a shortage of food. Causing large holes and gaps from the end of April onwards, which are produced by the larvae in the first two stages, but the main damage is only produced by larvae in the third stage.

 

The male has a typical leaf beetle shape, but mated females become grossly distended, with their wing cases perched saddle like on top of the shiny yellow abdomen.

 

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Reddish Vale Country Park

Alder Leaf

Beetle