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Metallic blue fuchsia flea beetle adults and their black larvae can feed on the leaves of fuchsias, occasionally resulting in severe defoliation.
Fuchsia flea beetle
There are more than 100 species of flea beetle in Britain. They are called flea beetles because they have enlraged hind legs which enable them to jump long distances.
At 5mm (¼in) long fuchsia flea beetles are larger than most other flea beetles found in Britain. It is metallic dark blue and in gardens feeds on Fuchsia and occasionally zauschneria, evening primrose (Oenothera) and Potentilla. In the wild it feeds on a range of plants in the Onagraceae especially willowherbs (Epilobium and Chamaenerion). It overwinters as adults which emerge in the spring, sometimes in large numbers.
The black caterpillar-like larvae also feed on the leaves of host plants. Larvae can be found on the leaves from April to August.
The adults and larvae feed on the shoot tips and leaves, resulting in holes in the foliage and in some cases brown patches where only one surface of the leaf has been eaten.
Light infestations of fuchsia flea beetle can be tolerated as small amounts of leaf loss will not affect the vigour or overall appearance of the plant.
Hand removal of the adults and larvae can help reduce the population.
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RHS statement on pesticides in horticulture
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