StegW's picture

Rainbow leaf beetle

Observed: 25th May 2009 By: StegWStegW’s reputation in InvertebratesStegW’s reputation in Invertebrates
Unidentified Beetle
Unidentifed Beetle

striped beetles. metallic shine. Red and green stripes. Found on lavender.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Rosemary Beetle (Chrysolina americana) interacts


Rose's picture


Leaf beetles Chroysomelidae are a family of over 25,000! This Rainbow leaf beetle really is one of the most beautiful in the UK.Oftern found in dry, sandy places, usually on wild thyme.


Martin Harvey's picture

Not cerealis!

Sorry Rose, I think you've been misled by the Chinery insect book on this one! In the UK Chrysolina cerealis is a very scarce beetle of montane grasslands, confined to Snowdon and Cwm Idwal in north Wales. It does feed on Wild Thyme, but Chinery's comments about "dry, sandy places" are more appropriate for mainland Europe, where the beetle is more widespread.
The beetle photographed here is the Rosemary Beetle, Chrysolina americana, which feeds on lavendars as shown here, as well as rosemary and a few other plants. It is originally from the mediterranean, but arrived in Britain in 1963 and has slowly been spreading. It would be interesting to know the location for this observation.
For further info see:

It's a gorgeous beetle, but not always popular with gardeners.

Entomologist and biological recorder

Rose's picture


Hi Martin,

Thanks for the info. I had remembered what I though was this beetle in Chinery as you have noted. Sorry for the mistake!


tootsietim's picture

Rosemary beetle

I'd not heard of this beetle until a week ago.
when I looked on my Rosemary, I found eight. They really are a beautiful beetle. At present they don't appear to be causing any harm, but I understand that they are dormant in the summer and only start laying eggs in early autumn. So I shall be keeping an eye on them to see what happens next.
Location. outskirts of Norwich.

wss's picture

rosemary beetle / metallic beetle found on lavendar

Found this today when cutting back dead Lavendar. Feb 26, 2011 near Chester. Not sure if dormant as it was either knocked off (i called the kids to see it) or climbing. Surprised that Lavendar was dead, the stuff in our garden survives anything - maybe this is what the beetle does? Also a couple of ladybirds. Our front garden catches winter sun and is quite sheltered. Soil - clay enriched with manure & sand.