Rosemary Leaf Beetle from England

Subject: Metallic wheeled beetle
Location: Buckinghamshire, England
February 22, 2015 12:06 pm
Hello, I’m a gardener living in the south of England. I saw these beetles living on a rosemary bush. There was about 15-20 of them. I saw the over two seasons on the same rosemary bush but never anywhere else in the garden or in England for that matter.
Any ideas?
Signature: Jackson Rowe

Rosemary Leaf Beetle
Rosemary Leaf Beetle

Dear Jackson,
You have the hands of a gardener.  Your beetle is a Rosemary Leaf Beetle,
Chrysolina americana, which is sometimes called merely a Rosemary Beetle.  Knowing that it feeds on a single plant in your garden, Rosemary, is a good way to search for its identity.  According to UK Safari:  “Despite the scientific name, this beetle is a native of southern Europe.  It was first noticed in the U.K. in the early 1990’s and has since become well established.”  You can locate additional information on the Royal Horticultural Society website where it states:  “The larvae and adults feed on the foliage of rosemary and related plants.  Rosemary beetle is a pest that eats the foliage and flowers of various aromatic plants, such as rosemary, lavender, sage and thyme.  Initially rosemary beetle was found mainly in London gardens, but it is rapidly spreading and is becoming widespread throughout England and Wales, and possibly further north.”

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