Crioceris duodecimpunctata — Overview

Twelve-spotted Asparagus Beetle learn more about names for this taxon

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The spotted asparagus beetle (Crioceris duodecimpunctata) is found throughout Europe and North America and feeds only on asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) at both the larval and adult phase. The beetles are orange-red with black spots, the larvae are fat cream-colored grubs about 6-7 mm. Unlike the closely related common asparagus beetle, (C. asparagi), which are a significant pest to commercial asparagus crops, the spotted asparagus beetle are considered to be a far less important threat because: 1. the larvae mature and feed only inside the asparagus berries so do not damage the asparagus spears or the photosynthesizing portions of the plant and 2. adults lay eggs only on asparagus ferns, not on the spears, so the spears are not damaged by contaminating eggs. Spotted asparagus beetles can be discouraged from crops by planting male-only asparagus strains, which do not produce berries.

Crioceris duodecimpunctata beetles can be easily distinguished from C. asparagi, which is bright blue and brown with cream-colored spots.

(University of Illinois extension 2011; Fraval 1997; Watts 1912; Wikipedia 2010; Wikipedia 2011)

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