NC State Extension Publications

Description and Biology

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Claycolored leaf beetles, Anomoea laticlavia, are 3/8 inch long, brown to redish brown with a dark line down the inner and outer edges of the wing covers. They feed on a broad range of host trees and shrubs although it is sometimes called the persimmon beetle. In North Carolina our records are primarily from persimmon. Matthew St Pierre and his colleagues found that although this beetle is found from the Great Plains eastward, it does not disperse rapidly. In the prairie habitat, this beetle seems to feed only on lead plant, Amorpha canescens. Females lay their eggs in cases of fecal material on the ground or on foliage. The larvae of claycolored leaf beetles are case-bearing, that is, they wear a pouch or case made of frass and bits of leaves. I predict they pupate inside the case when fully grown. The larvae likewise feed on leaves (the larvae of many other leaf beetles feed naked on leaves or on roots under ground). We have one generation per year.

Claycolored leaf beetles

Claycolored leaf beetles have a black stripe down the back and one on each side.

Claycolored leaf beetles

Claycolored leaf beetles are also called persimmon leaf beetles.

Claycolored leaf beetle larvae

Claycolored leaf beetle larvae are protected by a tough case.

Host Plants

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In North Carolina most of our records are from persimmon. Elsewhere in the Southeast it has been found on azalea, oak, willow, and wisteria. In the Great Plains the claycolored leaf beetle seems to feed only on lead plant, Amorpha canescens.

Recommendation

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Bifenthrin, permethrin, or one of the other pyrethroids labeled for insect control in landscapes should give more than adequate control of claycolored leaf beetles. Pyrethroids are toxic to many insects, and are also repellent to insects so the tree will be unattractive to other beetles and bees after it has been treated.

References

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For assistance with a specific problem, contact your local Cooperative Extension Center.

This Factsheet has not been peer reviewed.

Author

Professor Emeritus
Entomology

Publication date: June 10, 2015
Revised: Sept. 12, 2019

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