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Longitarsus species

Within the large family of Leaf Beetles the Shield Beetles are not the only remarkable species. Another strange group is called Flea Beetles. These are very small beetles (2 to 4 mm only) with powerful hind legs. These are used to jump. That's how these beetles got their name. Some do some damage to plants by eating small holes in the leaves. The number of flea beetles is rarely high enough to do serious damage, though. The pictures below are of a brown species and the antennae has 11 segments. This information, combined with the shape gave Mr. Frank Koehler the opportunity to name its genus: Longitarsus. It is impossible to name the exact species from just these pictures.

Flea Beetles usually appear in great numbers and may damage crops. They make tiny holes in the leaves of their beloved plants. Full grown plants however outgrow the damage easily, but young seedlings may be killed. Also plants used for decorative reasons suffer and so do vegetables of which the leaves are sold. On the other hand: Longitarsus jacobaeae is used to control the outbreaks of ragwort, for it only lives on this species, which is a notorious weed in agriculture.