Pyrrhalta viburni

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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Hexapoda (including Insecta)
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Chrysomelidae
Genus: Pyrrhalta
Species: P. viburni
Scientific Name
Pyrrhalta viburni
(Paykull, 1799)
Scientific Name Synonym
Galerucella viburni
(Paykull, 1799)
Common Names

viburnum leaf beetle


Viburnum leaf beetle is a native of Europe. It is known to be established in New York, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Washington State, and a small part of Pennsylvania and Ohio. It is mainly moved on infested live viburnums. Hosts include Viburnum species, especially arrowwood viburnum, European cranberrybush viburnum and mapleleaf viburnum. Adults are 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch long. The head, thorax, and elytra (wing covers) are generally brownish and the shoulders of the elytra are darker. The dorsal (back) surface has small, dense punctures, and the space between punctures is covered with thick, golden-grey pubescence. Females deposit up to five eggs in holes dug in new growth. The hole is capped with cement made from plant fiber, spit and a little excrement. These are visible throughout the summer, fall, and winter months. Egg hatch usually occurs in early May. These young larvae are greenish-yellow and skeletonize viburnum foliage, usually starting with lower leaves and leaving only midribs and major veins intact. As the larvae mature, they grow to about 1/3 of an inch long, darken and develop a series of dark spots. Mature larvae migrate to the soil to pupate. Adults emerge from the soil and return to feeding on foliage. Adult feeding damage consists of irregular circular holes, and severe feeding can nearly defoliate shrubs once again. When disturbed, the beetles will fly away or drop to the ground. Skeletonized leaves in the spring (May-June) and heavily chewed leaves in the summer (July-September) indicate a viburnum leaf beetle infestation. The span from egg hatch to adult can be as quick as two months. Despite this, only one generation per year has been reported.

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