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Janet Brien Oregon
Chrysolina quadrigemina
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The Beautiful Klamathweed Beetle (2 pictures below!)

The Beautiful Klamathweed Beetle (2 pictures below!)
I found this lovely, metallic bronze beetle yesterday as I wandered around taking pictures while I kept an eye on our smouldering burn pile. The only time I've ever seen this beetle is on St. John Wort blossoms, where they breed and congregate. The are fairly difficult to photograph on those flowers because they stuff themselves into the base of stems and run around behind the blossoms if they notice me. However, this little guy was in the perfect place for a picture and he didn't move quickly, so I got time to compose my image the way I wanted it! :)

From the Klemson University:
The Klamathweed beetle, Chrysolina quadrigemina, is native to northern and central Europe and western Asia. The first North American introduction was reported from California in 1945 where it was introduced as a biological control for St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) which was listed on the federal noxious weed list. The beetle has become well established in California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and most recently, western North Carolina where it defoliates H. perforatum by targeting hypericin containing glands. The presence of the Klamathweed beetle in North Carolina was first reported in 1997 from a shipment of fresh St. John's Wort harvested from naturalized populations in Oregon. The beetles overwintered successfully and established a population in Brevard, NC. Additional populations were detected in 1999 from experimental plantings located in Ashe County, NC, at the Upper Mountain Research Extension Station and the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Extension Center (MHCREC) in Fletcher, NC.


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