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Lily Leaf Beetle (Lilioceris lilii)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Lily Leaf Beetle

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Bright red with a black head, a Lily Leaf Beetle can decimate all kinds of lilies, and it is on the move.

Updated: 01/04/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Found in North America in the mid 1900's, the Lily Leaf Beetle is a pest that requires diligent control. The scarlet red beetle has a black head and black belly. If squeezed, it squeaks audibly. Females lay small red or brown eggs in irregular rows under lily leaves. Once the larva hatches, it gets to work, chewing up the entire leaf and moving onto other parts of the plant when that food is exhausted. The small grub covers itself in its own feces as protection, making it look like brown crud on the edges of a leaf it is eating from. Native lilies are at risk from the extensive feeding of this hungry larva. All varieties of true lilies can be attacked as well as Fritillaria, but daylilies do not seem to interest it.

Controlling the population is paramount to reducing the damage done by the beetle. Immediately removing adults by tapping the branch so they fall into soapy water is easier than trying to catch one running for cover. Removing and soaking affected leaves can kill small grubs hiding under feces. Daily examinations of lily plants are necessary to limit the beetle's damage. So far, the beetle has a range that includes eastern Canadian provinces and New England States, but that range is expanding. Beetles may hide in containers and the popularity of lilies means they are likely to spread farther if left unchecked. Recognizing and eliminating the beetle is necessary to keep plants healthy and alive.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Chrysomelidae
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          Genus: Lilioceris
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            Species: lilii

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Lilioceris lilii
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 12mm (0.39" to 0.47")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: red
Descriptors: all red; black head; boxy shoulders; black legs

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 10mm (0.4in) and 12mm (0.5in)
Lo: 10mm
Md: 11mm
Hi: 12mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
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Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Lily Leaf Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Lily Leaf Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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