Tansy Ragwort Flea Beetle (Longitarsus jacobaeae)

Tansy Ragwort Flea Beetle (Longitarsus jacobaeae)

Description

Title:
Tansy Ragwort Flea Beetle (Longitarsus jacobaeae)
Caption / Description:

Longitarsus jacobaeae is a species of flea beetle known as the tansy ragwort flea beetle. It is used as an agent of biological pest control against the noxious weed known as ragwort (Senecio jacobaea).

The adult tansy ragwort flea beetle is light golden brown in color and between 2 and 4 millimeters long. The female is larger than the male, especially when gravid (pregnant). Like other flea beetles, Longitarsus jacobaeae has enlarged femurs which enable it to jump out of danger if disturbed.

The female ragwort flea beetle lays eggs on or near ragwort, its host plant. The larva then emerges about two weeks later and will burrow into the ground to feed on the roots. The larvae and adults are dually responsible for damage to the plant - the adult defoliates plants which are often already weakened by larval damage at the roots.

This two-pronged attack is quite successful in preventing ragwort growth and development. The tansy ragwort flea beetles have prevented entire populations of ragwort from reaching flowering stage at several monitored sites.

The beetle is not choosy about the genera in which it feeds from, and recent studies with Longitarsus jacobaeae have shown "that selection pressure by specialist herbivores is not likely a driving force in evolutionary diversification" of the plants which contain the alkaloids that the beetle dines on.

The tansy ragwort flea beetle is native to Eurasia. It was first introduced to the United States as a ragwort biocontrol agent in 1969 and it is now established in much of the western United States.

Description adapted from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longitarsus_jacobaeae

Tags / Keywords:
  • Biota
  • Life
  • Vitae
  • Eukaryota
  • Animalia
  • Animals
  • Arthropoda
  • Arthropods
  • Insecta
  • Insects
  • Coleoptera
  • Beetles
  • Chrysomelidae
  • Leaf beetles
  • Ragwort
  • Longitarsus
  • Longitarsus jacobaeae
  • Tansy Ragwort Flea beetle

Admin

Date Original Photo Taken:
Original File Name:
_MG_7259.CR2
Event:
Rating:
Date this image added/last updated on website:
Original File Dimensions:
4272px x 2848px
File Type:
JPEG
Color Mode:
RGB
Original Image Color Profile:
Adobe RGB (1998)

Location

Location Created:
Sublocation:
City:
Market Harborough
Province/State:
Leicestershire
Country:
United Kingdom
World Region:
Europe
Geo-location:

Rights

Copyright Status:
Copyrighted
Licensing Status:
Rights Managed
Available for Editorial Use:
Yes
Available for Commercial Use:
Yes
Copyright Notice:
© 2009 Dave Kennard

Camera Data

Date Digital Resource was created:
Shutter speed:
1200 s
Aperture:
f/8
Camera Model:
Canon EOS 450D
ISO:
100
Exposure Compensation:
0
Focal Length:
65mm
Focal Length (35mm equiv.):
Metering Mode:
Multi-segment
Flash:
On, Fired
Exposure Mode:
Manual
White Balance:
Manual
Light Source:
Exposure Program:
Manual

Additional shooting metadata

Lens:
Canon MP-E 65mm F2.8 1-5x Macro
Filters used:
Additional Optics used:
Setup:
Handheld

Post Processing

Image Modified:
Software used:
  • Adobe Camera RAW
Post Processing: