Subject: who’s this?
Location: Prescott AZ
July 10, 2013 2:06 pm
Bright red beetle walking around in the splash from a fountain on the patio?
Is it going to eat something I’m trying to grow?
It did not take us long to identify your Leaf Beetle as a Reddish Potato Beetle, Leptinotarsa rubiginosa. BugGuide reports the Reddish Potato Beetle from Arizona and New Mexico and states it feeds on Solanacea, the family that includes tomatoes, peppers and eggplant as well as potatoes and many native plants like jimsonweed and nightshade. We are not certain if they indiscriminately feed on all members of the family, or only certain plants, but the family contains many cultivated food plants as well as some ornamental garden plants. We believe this is the only example of this species in our archives, so thank you very much for submitting your excellent photograph.