Lily beetle Lilioceris lilii in a Malvern garden

Frank Screen

Keith Barnett’s article in the April 2010 Worcestershire Record prompted me to inform you of my recordings of the Lily Beetle. For several years I have seen them on a cultivated lily in my garden in Malvern. In 2008 I decided to attempt to photograph its life cycle. The majority of my sightings have been from late April to early July.

The beetles were easy to spot but finding the eggs required a hands and knees approach as they were laid underneath the leaves. To date (August 2010) I have found batches of six to ten eggs. The larvae seem to be covered with excrement which provides them with an excellent camouflage. However just prior to pupation the excrement falls off to reveal and orange coloured larvae. This stage normally lasts two days after which the larva climbs down the lily stem to pupate. This note is illustrates all these stages. I have yet to come across a pupa but I live in hope.

(The author provided colour transparencies which have been scanned to produce the pictures Ed).

2. Lily beetle newly emerged larvae 05 June 2010 ©Frank Screen transcan
3. Lily beetle larvae 23 June 2009 ©Frank Screen
1. Lily beetle eggs 25 May 2010 ©Frank Screen
4. Lily beetle larvae 2 days before pupating 23 June 2010 ©Frank Screen
5. Lily beetles 05 June 2009 ©Frank Screen