Pilemostoma fastuosa (Schaller, 1783)

Taxonomy: Polyphaga > Chrysomeloidea > Chrysomelidae > Pilemostoma > Pilemostoma fastuosa

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Pilemostoma fastuosa

Description

Size: 4.5-6.5mm
Basic colour: Red and black
Pattern colour: Elytra red with irregular black stripes.
Number of spots: See notes below.
Spot fusions: Common
Other colour forms: Sometimes
Pronotoum: Red with black spots and upturned sides.
Leg colour: Black

An unmistakable black and red 'tortoise beetle'.

Biology

Status: Scarce (Notable A), mainly in S. England.
Habitat: Various, usually on calcareous soils, especially in open or lightly shaded locations.
Host plant: Various Asteraceae, especially Ploughman's-spikenard (Inula conyzae) and Common Fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica), sometimes ragwort and mints.
Overwintering: Adults hibernate in moss in woodland.
Food: Leaves of Ploughman's-spikenard; adults produce variably sized holes, larvae feed on the underside.
Other notes: Elytra sometimes black with a few red spots, or red with a few black spots. Newly emerged individuals are sometimes greenish instead of red.

Distribution (may take a minute to appear)