Flea Beetle (Altica spp.)

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Flea Beetle (Altica spp.)

Pretty, blue metallic beetle, but makes “swiss cheese” of leaves. This one is either sleeping, or it over-ate and can’t get up.

Shown on Florida Native Plant Ludwigia octovalvis where it is free to munch away.

Hard to get this genus down to species. There is one that is called a primose beetle, so it may be A.litigata

May be a pest of crape myrtle, but the usual host is Luwigia spp., so if you don’t pull up the ludwigia, it probably will leave your crepe myrtles alone. I have never seen any on the two crape myrtles I planted “before I knew”, although given a choice, I would request they eat the exotic crape myrtle.

Learn: https://insects.tamu.edu/extension/publications/epubs/eee_00022.cfm

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