Rosemary beetle – another first for Heslington!

I found a beautiful beetle on my lavender bush on Thursday lunchtime. I’d never seen one like it before. I tried to identify it, but couldn’t, as it wasn’t in any of my insect books.

Rosemary beetle (Chrysolina americana)
Rosemary beetle (Chrysolina americana)

As it looked a bit like the Tansy beetle (Chrysolina graminis), I sought assistance from a local Tansy beetle expert, Dr Geoff Oxford at the University of York. He identified it for me as a Rosemary beetle (Chrysolina americana).

I googled Rosemary beetle and found a very informative page about it on the RHS website. I discovered that this beetle is a native of southern Europe. And from the map on the RHS web page, that it looked as if the Rosemary beetle had never been recorded in York before … Not another World First Insect Discovery for my little garden in Heslington! (Click here for info. about my previous World First Insect Discovery.)

I recorded my sighting on the RHS Rosemary Beetle survey page, and also contacted Andrew Halstead at RHS Wisley. He told me that mine was the second recorded sighting in York, the first having been in June of this year. So, not the first recorded Rosemary beetle ever in York – but the first on my side of the river!

Have a look on your rosemary, lavender and sage bushes and see if you can find this beautiful beetle in your garden. If you do find it, let the RHS know by filling in their Rosemary Beetle Report Form.

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