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Viburnum Leaf Beetle

The first viburnum leaf beetle, Pyrrhalta viburni (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), found in New York State, was collected, identified, and confirmed by E.R. Hoebeke of CUIC. The specimens were collected on 7/5/96 at Fair Haven State Park in Cayuga County on wild and ornamental arrowwood, Viburnum spp.

This Eurasian pest of viburnum was introduced into Canada in 1947 near Ontario. It has since been moving southward towards the United States, and since been found in Maine over the last several years. Additional detections have also been made in Monroe, Orleans, and Niagara Counties of New York.

How The Beetle Damages Viburnum Plants

Adults and larvae destroy the leaves except for the midrib and major veins.

Host plants are restricted to species of Viburnum: Viburnum opulus (preferred host), V. lantana, V. dentatum, V. rafinesquianum, V. acerifolium, and V. lentago.

Viburnum Leaf Beetle Identification

  • Adults often resting on the upper surfaces of the leaves and if disturbed they readily drop or fly.
  • Similar to elm leaf beetle (P. luteola) but slightly smaller (4.5-6.5 mm long) than elm leaf beetle (5.8-6.8 mm long).
  • Dorsal surface has small, dense punctures (almost rugose), pubescence is thick.
  • Elytra are generally brownish with darker humeral angles.

Species Biology

  • One generation per year. 8-10 weeks for beetle to complete their development.
  • Over winters in egg stage. Female chews holes in small twigs for oviposition, which are often located straight in a row on the under side of the current year's growth. Several eggs are deposited in each hole and are covered with a cap of black excrement. Up to 500 eggs per female. In May the following year, the eggs hatch.
  • Larvae present from early May through the end of June.
  • Adult present from mid-July through October (first frost).

Pest Status

Serious pest of Viburnum spp. (both ornamental and native)

For more information about the viburnum leaf beetle, write to:
Plant Protection and Quarantine
4700 River Road unit 134
Riverdale. MD 20737-1236

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