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Photo#25032
Spotless Larger Elm Leaf Beetle - Monocesta coryli

Spotless Larger Elm Leaf Beetle - Monocesta coryli
East of Buckhannon, Upshur County, West Virginia, USA
July 19, 2005
I was out with my wife on an evening walk looking (unsuccessfully) for Vesper Bluets. Instead we found the first Larger Elm Leaf Beetle of the year for us here. It is one of the more common beetles in this part of West Virginia—we have a lot of American Elm.

My mentor in entomology, Alberto Vasquez, tells me this species was given the species name coryli because it was first collected on Hazelnut. As it turned out it was a bad name for this loyal insect, which is almost always found on Elm, its host plant.

The genus name Monocesta means one basket, and undoubtedly refers to some body part or another.

As Eric notes elsehwere this is a really variable species, and we find them with dark spots, light spots, or no spots.