Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A worldwide community photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Galerucella beetles on purple loosestrife

Galerucella sp., Lythrum salica


Galerucella beetles - about .5cm, tan with black marginal stripes - being used as a biological control for the loosestrife. Purple loosestrife (emerging) shoot approximately 6 - 8 inches high, showing clear beetle damage.


Loosestrife found in open wetlands and stream edges - extremely invasive. Larval and adult beetles damage the plant by eating the leaves. Eggs are laid on the leaves in early June, larva emerge and feed until midsummer, then go to ground to molt. Adults emerge in early May to begin feeding and mating. The insects do not kill the plants outright, but the damage inflicted stunts plants growth, keeping the plants to a height of only about 3 feet (vs. 6 ft on uninfested plants) and a single short flower stalk (vs. 5 or 6 tall stalks). A single loosestrife stalk can produce up to 50,000 seeds.


These beetles are 3rd generation offspring of beetles raised at South Windsor High School for release at Donnelly Nature Preserve for control of invasive purple loosestrife. All the emerging plants spotted today showed some beetle damage and about every third shoot had at least one pair of beetles mating.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID

No Comments

Spotted by

Hartford, Connecticut, USA

Spotted on May 12, 2011
Submitted on May 12, 2011

Related Spottings

water lily leaf beetle Galerucella Beetle Galerucella  beetle Leaf beetle

Nearby Spottings

Galerucella  beetle Orb Weaver Purple Loosestrife Cattail
Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team