Lily Leaf Beetle

The Lily Leaf Beetle, Lilioceris lilli, is an invasive beetle which feeds on all true lily species, including our native lilies and cultivated oriental lily varieties. The Lily Leaf Beetle (LLB) is native to Europe and was first found in the United States in Montreal, Canada in 1945 and later in Cambridge, MA in 1992 and is now distributed throughout most of New England and into Connecticut and New York. LLB is a small, bright red beetle as an adult with black head, legs, and antennae. The adults are approximately 1/2 inch long; the juveniles however are small pale green to orange grubs which are less than 1 millimeter when they first hatch and will eventually grow to roughly the size of an adult before pupation. The grubs are easily identified because they carry their frass (feces) on their backs like a shield.

LLB adults emerge in late May to early June and begin feeding, primarily on the leaves of lilies. They will lay their eggs rows most often on the undersides of leaves; the eggs are only around 0.5 millimeters long and are orange in color. LLB eggs hatch within 4-8 days and begin feeding and they will do so for 2-3 weeks before entering the soil or leaf litter to pupate in late June to early July. The larvae will pupate for 2-3 weeks in the soil or leaf litter before emerging as adults to feed again before returning to the soil to overwinter.

Biological Control

Beginning in 1999, the University of Rhode Island Biological Control Lab began releasing the host-specific wasp Tetrastichus setifer which lays its eggs in the larvae of the Lily Leaf Beetle, these parasitoid larvae will then consume their host from within. The larvae will continue to function normally, unaffected by the parasitoids until the larvae enters the soil to pupate. From here the parasitoid larvae will consume the rest of the LLB larvae and overwinter in the cocoon it had made for itself. A few years after the release of T.setifer 2 more parasitic wasp species were approved and released, Lemophagus errabundus and Diaparsis jucunda.

For more information about the biological control of LLB please look at our Brochure.


For information on the 2014 Lily Leaf Beetle larval collections [Click here]

Lily Leaf Beetle Photo Identification Guide

Lily Leaf Beetle Distribution Tracker

Lily Leaf Beetle Resistance Among Lily Hybrids

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Lily Leaf Beetle Resistance Among Lily Hybrids

Establishment of Parasitoids of the Lily Leaf Beetle in New England 2007

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Lily Leaf Beetle Harrisburg 2007

June-15-02: New Video Clips

Lemophagus errabundus (Hymenoptera:Ichneumonidae)

Lemophagus errabundus (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae)

Diaparsis jucunda (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae)

Tetrastichus setifer (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae)