Macroplea mutica (Fabricius, 1793)

Taxonomy: Polyphaga > Chrysomeloidea > Chrysomelidae > Macroplea > Macroplea mutica


Size: 5-7mm
Basic colour: Blackish and orange-yellow to orange-brown
Pattern colour: Elytra with thin alternating longitudinal lines of black and the base colour
Number of spots: See pronotum
Pronotoum: Basic colour, with a pair of longitudinally elongate dark marks
Leg colour: As basic colour, tarsi at least partly darkened.
Confusion species: Macroplea appendiculata

Palaearctic, including the Mediterranean (e.g. Sardinia, mainland Italy, Algeria)


Status: Sparsely scattered, mainly in eastern England. Previously considered rare (RDB3), later revised to Scarce (Notable A)
Habitat: Brackish clay pits and dykes, usally near the coast; sometimes estuaries and inland saline lagoons.
Host plant: Usually fennel pondweed (Potamogeton pectinatus); sometimes beaked tassel-weed (Ruppia maritime), eelgrass (Zostera marina) and horned pondweed (Zannichellia palustris)
Overwintering: Unknown
Food: Adults usually on leaves of P. pectinatus (adults rarely leave the water); larvae probably at roots but this is unconfirmed.
Other notes: Spine at end of elytra usually broader and less sharply pointed than in M. appendiculata. Dissection of aedeagus may be required to comfirm identification.

Distribution (may take a minute to appear)