I've been struggling to grow Snakeshead Fritillaries in my mini meadow for years and this year a small proportion of the one hundred bulbs flowered. But how on earth did the lily beetles find them so fast?
The mini meadow is full of a wide range of insects - I'm constantly amazed at how alive it is. So my options with the lily beetle are to leave well alone and hope the wildlife deals with the infestation or spend time picking and squashing (which I am loath to do).
Presumably the bright red colour is intended to warn predators that they are not very appetising and as you approach they drop to the ground, usually landing on their backs so their black underbelly merges with the shadows and make them incredibly difficult to spot.
The larvae coat themselves in their own excrement (disguising themselves as bird droppings) so it's a pretty determined creature likely to bother eating them! Birds, Frogs, Wasps and Ground Beetles will have a go.
If I had known then what I know now
I would have started this diary years ago
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