Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Pest of the month: 28-spotted Potato Ladybird

It’s common knowledge that ladybirds are beneficial for your garden. Most species are predators feeding on aphids. This time however, the uninvited guest on one of my bonsai was the 28-spotted Potato Ladybird (Epilachna vigintioctopunctata), which happens to be an exotic herbivorous pest (images above show adult and larval beetles). This insect was once happily confined to its native range in the far eastern Russia. The introduction of potato from America triggered its spread to China, Japan and more recently to Australia and New Zealand. Adults and larvae of this beetle feed on leaves of many different species of plants. So, next time you see this ladybird in your garden, remember that it can be harmful.

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