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  • Globemallow Leaf Beetle - (Calligrapha serpentina)

    Globemallow Leaf Beetle - (Calligrapha serpentina)

    The Globemallow Leaf Beetle changes colors from bold to bright as it matures all while retaining its metallic luster.

    Staff Writer (7/8/2015): The Globemallow Leaf Beetle may look like a type of Lady Bug, or Lady Beetle, but it is not. As a member of the Leaf Beetle family, its diet is plant-based, unlike the carnivorous diet of Lady Bugs. In fact, many Leaf Beetles are considered pests thanks to the extensive damage they inflict on the plants they are eating. The Globemallow Leaf Beetle's preferred vegetation are plants in the mallow family, specifically the bushy, bright, desert-growing Globemallow, though they have also been spotted on hollyhocks. They chew on the leaves of the plant as adults.

    Eggs are laid on the bottoms of leaves. Globemallow Leaf Beetles larvae emerge and look very different from their more mature selves. Larvae are black, dull and hairy. After pupating, however, they become a rich, red color with black lines and spots on the elytra (wing covering). As they age, the red gives way to orange and yellow and then eventually a bright green color. The black stripes and spots do not change, nor is the metallic sheen lost during this color morphing.

    They are commonly found in areas of desert scrub, open fields and backyard gardens of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico. Summer months are their most active season.

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    Details of the:
    Globemallow Leaf Beetle

    Category: Beetle
    Common name: Globemallow Leaf Beetle
    Scientific Name: Calligrapha serpentina

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Coleoptera
          Family: Chrysomelidae
           Genus: Calligrapha
            Species: serpentina

    Size (Adult, Length): 7mm to 10mm (0.28in to 0.39in)

    Identifying Colors: black, green, yellow, red, orange

    Additional Descriptors: round, flying, metallic, shiny, shimmering, spots, lines, stripes, southwest

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Arizona; California; Colorado; Nevada; New Mexico; Texas; Utah; Wyoming; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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