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Willow flea beetle - Crepidodera aurata
Willow flea beetle - Crepidodera aurata

Willow flea beetle
The willow flea beetle (Crepidodera aurata) belongs to the genus Crepidodera in the order beetles (Coleoptera), the superfamily Chrysomeloidea, the family leaf and flea beetles (Chrysomelidae), and the subfamily Galerucinae (Alticinae). Scientific synonyms for Crepidodera aurata are Disonycha spp. and chalcoides aurata. The willow flea beetle is common in Europe and Asia. This species can be found in every kind of environment , and is not endangered.

Crepidodera aurata reach body lengths of 2.5-3.5 mm. Its elongated and oval shaped body has a metallic sheen. The entire upper surface area of the females is greenish-gold in colour; that of the males is greenish-blue, blue or purple. Longitudinal rows of dots are visible on the forewings (elytres). The brown legs to the ankle are much thicker in the upper section of the rear pair, with which the willow flea can jump very far (up to hundred times its own body length).

The life expectancy of the adult beetle is 8-9 months. They are usually found in the countryside, moist forests, forest edges, wet meadows, marshes, meadows and heathland are their preferred habitats. They can also be encountered in natural gardens and parks.

The willow flea beetle is active during the day from May-October (after overwintering). During this time it is mainly seen on willows and poplars, whose leaves it eats. The willow flea beetle nibbles roundish holes into the leaves.

At age 7-8 months, the willow flea beetle is sexually mature. In June/August the beetles mate. The fertilized females lay their eggs on the leaves of the forage plants of their larvae. The eggs are yellowish and spindle-shaped.

The larvae hatch in summer. They are 5-6 mm long, black and resemble a small slug. The larvae live sociably on the same host plants (such as willow and poplar trees of the genus Salix or genus Populus) just like the adult beetles and often eat the leaves with the venes of the leaves remaining only. In late summer, the three-month development from egg to adult beetle is complete. The adult beetles overwinter under piles of leaves or in other protected places near the ground.
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Image editing with Photoshop
1. Willow flea beetle - Crepidodera aurata
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