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If you’re a gardener who cultivates any of the viburnum species of plant for their frothy flowers, vibrant berries and heady scent, then you probably won’t be very keen on these little beetles as they can make a pretty good job of chewing up all the leaves on your viburnum shrubs, as you can see from my photos.

170904 Viburnum beetle (4)

Rather unimaginatively but most accurately, they’re called Viburnum beetles (Pyrrhalta viburni) and, as a flat-living non-gardener, I find them rather cute. Both the voracious larvae (when they hatch in spring and early summer) and the less hungry adults (when they emerge from pupation in late summer) like to feed on viburnum leaves though it seems plants usually survive ‘even the most severe defoliation’. Personally, I think it would be best to enjoy the lacy appearance of the chewed leaves rather than resort to killing the beetles – all creatures have their place in the overall scheme of things, and the beetles won’t affect the stunning flowers and berries.

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