Thursday, 6 September 2007

Cereal Leaf Beetle (Oulema melanopus)

Adult Cereal Leaf Beetle (Oulema melanopus) at Newton, Northants - September 2011

Length: 6mm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Not Yet Evaluated 

The Cereal Leaf Beetle is a tiny beetle that feeds on grains including crops and so is considered an agricultural pest.  There are two very similar species which are essentially impossible to differentiate between without a very detailed examination, but I have placed this as Oulema melanopus rather than Oulema rufocyanea on a bit of an educated guess, although there is the very strong possibility that I am wrong.  They can cause substantial problems to crops in both their native range of Eurasia and the introduced range in North America.  They will consume most cereal crops, but the major staples of human consumption such as oats, barley, rye and wheat are particular favourites, probably contributing to it's success.

Related Species:
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Chrysomelidae
Genus: Oulema
SUBSPECIES: None - monotypic

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A common resident.
 - Seen in Newton

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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