Plant-Insect Interaction: Striped willow leaf beetle larvae on a sandbar willow

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Striped willow leaf beetle larvae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Disonycha alternata) feeding on sandbar willow. Photographed 08/03/2013 at Great Sand Dunes National Park near Alamosa, Colorado.

When I visited Great Sand Dunes National Park earlier this month the sandbar willows (Salix exigua, Salicaceae) along Medano Creek caught my attention. I noticed a lot of the leaves had been heavily foraged by some insect, and it didn’t take long to see what was responsible.

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Striped willow leaf beetle larva (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Disonycha alternata) photographed 08/03/2013 at Great Sand Dunes National Park near Alamosa, Colorado.

These shrubby trees were covered in striped willow leaf beetle larvae (ColeopteraChrysomelidaeDisonycha alternata). These insects range across much of North America and have a fondness for a variety of willow species.

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Striped willow leaf beetle larva (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Disonycha alternata) photographed 08/03/2013 at Great Sand Dunes National Park near Alamosa, Colorado.

As with other insects that undergo complete metamorphosis (holometabolism), these larvae look nothing like the adults.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Ecology, Entomology, National Parks, Organism Interactions and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Plant-Insect Interaction: Striped willow leaf beetle larvae on a sandbar willow

  1. Interesting ready…great photos.

    Like

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