Three Lined Potato Beetle

Datura-eating beetles
July 8, 2010
Saw dozens of these decimating a datura plant (leaves and flowers) in North San Diego County, CA. Never saw them before and wondered if they’re new in town. They are not more than 1/4 inch long.
J Cannon
Carlsbad, CA

Mating Three Lined Potato Beetles

Dear J,
Our initial belief that these were mating Three Lined Potato Beetles,
Lema daturaphila, caused us some doubt when we looked at the images posted to BugGuide.  The photos posted there were of individuals with red heads, pronota and legs, but a few photos had coloration like your pair.  One image posted to BugGuide has this information:  “lighter eastern beetles were called trilinea or trilineata while the darker California ones were called daturaphila. They have now all been lumped” into Lema daturaphila.  The species is also known as the Old Fashioned Potato Beetle, and though the coloration of eastern individuals and those from California is different, we are confident with our identification.

1 thought on “Three Lined Potato Beetle”

  1. A couple of years ago I was fly fishing on Kennebago Lake (5MX1M) and i saw a green leaf on the water. I stopped to look at it and it was a Luna moth flat in the water. I picked it up and put it on the boat seat. After 10 minutes it woke up and flew off to the shore. It was really neat to see!


Leave a Comment