Lily beetle larvae on a lily leaf

Lily beetle larvae on a lily leaf

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The underside of a leaf of the lily, Lilium nepalense, showing the presence of the lily beetle, Lilioceris lilii. The picture shows the empty egg cases of the insect (bright orange ), together with several larvae. The larvae camouflage themselves with their own frass ( faeces ), so as to resemble small bird droppings. Two are visible, right of centre, and one, top edge to right. They are black and shiney. Below the eggs is a larva that has lost its camouflage covering, revealing its orange-brown skin. The dark parts of the background to the picture are the inside of the upper epidermis of the leaf; the lower epidermis and the internal tissues of the leaf having been eaten by the larvae. Lily beetles are a pest for lily growers; the beetles cause damage in early summer by eating foliage and flower tissues, and the larvae can defoliate plants in late summer.

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Keywords: biological, biology, botanical, botany, egg, epidermis, frass, insect camouflage, insect pest, larva, leaf, lilioceris lilii, lilium nepalense, lily, lily beetle, plant pest

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