Line Line
Altica oleracea

This is another very small, blueish black leaf beetle. It does look like all the others, but this time we know its name: Haltica oleracea, also known as Altica oleracea. It is very similar to the Alder Leaf Beetle, but much smaller, measuring some 4 mm only. We were able to identify this beetle not by looking at it, but by examining the plant it lives on. In our garden it lives only on our Evening Primrose. And this is the only European species known to inhabit this plant. It appears in April, almost as soon as the plant starts growing and makes the leaves look miserable, with yellow spots and lot of small holes. Later in May the plant certainly grows more quickly than the attackers can eat and starts to look more representable, still covered in these very small insects. From then on a kind of balance is reached and the plant seems to be effected only slightly. Altica oleracea is known from many plants, including some important ones in agriculture, such as strawberry and turnip.