Pollen beetles (genus Meligethes) spend the winter as adults in soil, emerging in spring to feed on pollen, mate, and lay eggs in flower buds. Oil-seed rape is an ideal spring food source for both adults and larvae, and with an adult female capable of laying 100-200 eggs they can cause substantial damage to the crop. After munching pollen for a month, larvae migrate to the soil and pupate for 2-3 weeks before emerging as adults in mid to late summer – i.e. NOW! In Edinburgh, we are seeing many of these young adult beetles in our urban meadows where they are feasting on pollen from a range of flowers in preparation for winter underground.
|and on marigold (Calendula officinalis)|
|and on Californian poppy (Eschscholzia californica)|
|and on baby's breath (Gypsophila elegans)|
|and on alyssum (Lobularia maritima)|
|and on ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)|
|and on Virginia stock (Malcolmia maritima)|
|and on poppy (Papaver rhoeas)|