Rosemary Leaf Beetle from UK

Subject: Beautiful Beetle!
Location: Sidcup, Kent – England (UK)
May 6, 2013 3:54 pm
I’ve lived in South East London since a child and never seen one of these before. I saw two this afternoon on a Rosemary bush and Pineapple Broom at the end of our garden. We have an area of unmanaged scrub at the end of the garden where there are a number of fallen /rotting trees, so we usually see quite a few beetles. But these are new to me and I can’t find any pictures on line to identify them by.
Can you help, Bugman?
I have more photo’s at other angles if you want them.
Kind regards,
Signature: Alun Harrison

Leaf Beetle
Rosemary Leaf Beetle

Dear Alun,
Because we haven’t received a new photo of this species in several years, we couldn’t recall the name of this Rosemary Leaf Beetle.  At first we had trouble finding the identity when we searched the scientific family name Chrysomelidae, but once we switched to the common name Leaf Beetle, we quickly found this Rosemary Leaf Beetle identified on FlickR.  A You Tube video indicates the Rosemary Leaf Beetle successfully invaded the UK in 2002 though it was most likely introduced prior to that.  The Rosemary Leaf Beetle,
Chrysolina americana, is native to the Mediterranean region, but the cultivation of its food plants like rosemary and sage has allowed it to expand its range.

Wow! That was amazingly quick. Thank you for that info, Daniel. I will follow the advice for hand removal since we do use the herbs for culinary purposes, but feel terrible about harming such beautiful creatures.
I will look at perhaps providing more ‘sacrificial’ lavender for them until I read up on their potential “pest” status.
My very best regards & thank you for your response.
Best wishes,
Alun Harrison

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