Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes


orange beetle - Lilioceris lilii

orange beetle - Lilioceris lilii
Harvard, Worcester County, Massachusetts, USA
June 10, 2005
Size: 8mm

Red lily beetle
1st heard of the "scourge of Cambridge" in mid 9o's. They arrived in my Newton NH garden 2003. Hand picking is tedious, larva are yucky. Last year I began to try ground black pepper on plants as soon as they emerge and at least once a week or after rain. The pepper seems to annoy the beetles some drop others go stiff but still alive. Pepper may scratch them like diatomacious earth. Continued this season with good results knocking the population down 90%. I missed some egg masses resulting in yucky larve but again about 90% less I have about 40 lilies. Give ground black pepper a try and let me know

Lily leaf beetle
There are some inaccuracies about this pretty creature. They have NOT found their way around the North American continent yet, remaining primarily in the coastal areas of the northeast where they were first seen in 1992 in Mass. They have been sighted in coastal Maine since at least 2002 and are becoming a greater problem in this state. My 2-year old garden had an infestation this year. They are found only on true lilies (lilium) and a few other species like fritillaria and Solomon's seal, but not daylilies (hemerocallis). Neem products and some common insecticides can help but need to be used carefully. I'm not aware of any more natural solutions yet and no natural enemies. They are posed to become a bigger problem in this country if not taken more seriously. Your web site has some terrific pictures but give one the impression they are bigger than they are, which is about the size of a lady beetle.

I have had these beetles for
I have had these beetles for at least two years now in Southern Maine. Any new thoughts on controlling them?

red lily beetle
I have had good results with ground black pepper here in S.E. New hampshire

non-native beetle
This beetle is native to Europe, but has become well established in North America.

Look for them on lillies that have short leaf blades on a central stalk like an Easter lilly rather than those, like day lillies, that have long leaf blades all arising at the base of the plant.

Lilioceris lilii often stridulates noisily in protest when you hold one in your fingers. The larvae resemble a pile of moist excrement because they pile it up on themselves as a defensive measure.

Lily leaf beetle
See my comments earlier today. Have you heard of several other places besides the New England area where they have been found? I haven't. You certainly describe the mess they leave well!!

Only in New England
I haven't seen them outside New Hampshire in fact, but they seem well established here.

For control, I suggest hand plucking on warm overcast days or early-to-mid morning and early evening. They seem to retreat from the midday sun.

Crioceris lilii (Chrysomelidae, Criocerinae) - Red lily beetle
This unmistakable vermilion red beetle is, I think, introduced from Eurasia in North America. It is frequently found on or near lily plants or related plant genera (Lilium, Hemerocallis, and so on) in gardens. Larvae eat the leaves of these plants.

Red lily beetle
I found 2 of these on the edge of a trail in a marshy wooded area near a river. They really stood out. Thanks for the info Richard.

Right genus name: Lilioceris
Really sorry, but I now remember that a separate genus Lilioceris now exists for this species. Crioceris applies only to asaparagus beetles.
Elsewhere in this guide, the insect is called "Lily leaf beetle": it should be the correct common name.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.