Lily Beetle

The lily beetle (Lilioceris lilii) is mostly scarlet-coloured with a black head, black legs and underparts. The beetles usually begin to appear in April.

The females produce up to 300 small red eggs during their lifetime of around two years. The female lays her eggs on the leaves of small branches.

From these eggs, humpbacked grubs with a pinkish colouring hatch and feed on the foliage, stems and seed capsule of lilies. These larvae exude a semi-liquid frass that they become covered in, giving them the colour of bird-droppings. When they are fully fed, they move to the soil and pupate.

The grubs can cause extensive defoliation, spoiling the appearance of Lilies (Lilium species and hybrids), Giant lilies (Cardiocrinum species) and fritillaries (Fritillaria species), and leading to undersized bulbs which do not flower in the following year.

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