Subject: what is this bug?
Location: 40.5 North 0.5 East
April 10, 2014 4:49 am
I live in rural Catalunya, NE Spain, not far from the mediteranean and a mostly olive growing area.
This time of year March/April it is about 20’C max in the day flowers are out and there is blossom on the fruit trees.
These (1 to 1.5 cm) bugs are often right in the blossom. Sometimes they are very hairy and can appear yellow with the pollen.
Please can you tell me what they are and if possible, are they damaging the blossom?
In hope and with thanks
We believe we have correctly identified your Scarab as a White Spotted Rose Beetle, Oxythyrea funesta, thanks to the Things Biological website where it states: “Its distribution includes Italy, France, Malta, Morocco, Asia Minor and parts of the Middle East. It is not a particularly important species economically, though they can significantly impact grape vines and flowering wheat.” According to Csalomontraps: “The adult beetle causes damage to flowers of peark cherry, European chestnut and other spring-blossoming fruit trees and ornamental plants (e.g. peony). It damages frequently also cereals, first of all ears of rye. The beetle can feed also on many flowering weeds, i.e. different spp. of Compositae and Cruciferae. The beetle chews the petals, staminae and stigmae thus rendering the flower infertile. It can damage not only flowers in full blossom, but also in the bud stage. The grub (larva) lives in the soil, feeds on rotting plant material, it causes no damage.” Since that information is provided by a company that produces traps, the account might be exaggerated, but we believe you most likely have cause for concern.
Absolutely fantastic, thank you very much.
Now to do something to help the plants as we have hundreds of the beetles.
Again, thank you for you help as we had failed to find it in our books