Explanation of Names
Lilioceris lilii (Scopoli 1763)
lilii 'of lily' (the host plant)
native to the Palaearctic (common across n. Eurasia)(1)
, adventive in our area and spreading(2)
hosts: Fritillaria, Lilium(2)
Leaves of all true lilies: Asiatic, Oriental, tiger lilies and hybrids are eaten first. As the population grows, buds, flowers and stems are also eaten. Populations can build so quickly that entire plantings seem to disappear overnight.
Adults also will feed on Fritillaria, Polygonatum, Solanum, Smilax, Nicotiana and other plants but are not able to complete their life cycle on these hosts. They do not feed on daylilies.
1. Eggs. 2. Larvae. 3. Larvae with coating removed. 4. Male and female adults
Larvae cover themselves with excrement, probably as a protection against predators
earliest record in our area: QC 1943
One of many leaf beetles that stridulate when grabbed. The larvae under dark brown "crud" along the edges of leaves they are eating, literally a protective barrier of their own feces.
Probably spreads with the sale and movement of potted lilies, flowering bulbs or cut flowers. In countries where it is invasive, it is a serious pest of cultivated lilies and fritillaries. Without control methods, leaves and flowers are totally defoliated by larvae. In North America, it also represents a threat to native lilies.