Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Pollen beetle feeding frenzy!

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.     

Young adult pollen beetles feeding on cornflower (Centaurea cyanaus)

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)

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