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Datasheet

Lilioceris lilii (lily leaf beetle)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 26 September 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pest
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Lilioceris lilii
  • Preferred Common Name
  • lily leaf beetle
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • L. lilii is a Eurasian chrysomelid beetle that was first found in Quebec, Canada, in 1943, from where it has spread to several Canadian Provinces, and Vermont and Maine in the USA. It was also reported in Bosto...

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Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Lilioceris lilii (Scopoli)

Preferred Common Name

  • lily leaf beetle

International Common Names

  • English: lily beetle; scarlet lily beetle
  • Spanish: criocero de la azucena; criocero de los lirios
  • French: criocère du lis; criocère du lys; liliocère du lis

Local Common Names

  • Denmark: liljebille
  • Finland: liljakukko
  • Germany: Käfer, Lilien-; Lilienhähnchen; Lilienhähnchen, Schwarzköpfiges
  • Italy: criocera del giglio
  • Netherlands: leliehaan; leliehaantje; liliehaantje; lilienhaantje; lilietorretje
  • Norway: liljebille
  • Sweden: liljebagge

EPPO code

  • CRIELI (Lilioceris lilii)

Summary of Invasiveness

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L. lilii is a Eurasian chrysomelid beetle that was first found in Quebec, Canada, in 1943, from where it has spread to several Canadian Provinces, and Vermont and Maine in the USA. It was also reported in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1992, and it is now found in several New England States. It is also alien and invasive in the UK and, probably, in Northern Europe. The beetle most probably spreads with the sale and movement of potted lilies, flowering bulbs or cut flowers. In countries where it is invasive, it is a serious pest of cultivated lilies and fritillaries. Without control methods, leaves and flowers are totally defoliated by larvae. In North America, it also represents a threat to native lilies.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Coleoptera
  •                         Family: Chrysomelidae
  •                             Genus: Lilioceris
  •                                 Species: Lilioceris lilii

Description

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Eggs

Eggs are 1 mm long, reddish-orange and in rows of 2-16 on the underside of leaves.

Larvae

There are four larval instars, which can be distinguished by their head capsule width (Haye and Kenis, 2004). The last instar larva is 8-10 mm long and has a head capsule width of 1.3-1.5 mm. Larvae resemble slugs with swollen orange, yellowish or brownish bodies and black heads. The anus is situated on the dorsal area, so that the excreta accumulates above the larva, which carries a viscous fecal shield on its back that gives it a repulsive aspect (Fox-Wilson, 1943).

Pupae

Pupae are orange-red and found in a 'silken', white cocoon in the soil.

Adults

The adult is about 6-8 mm long. It is bright red, with the exception of the head, antennae, legs and underside of the body, which are black (Fox-Wilson, 1943).

Distribution

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L. lilii occurs throughout Eurasia, from Siberia to Morocco and from the UK to China. Its native range is unclear. According to Cox (2001), the beetle is not native to the UK. Its occurrence in other western countries, such as The Netherlands and Sweden, may also result from a recent invasion. It is undoubtedly non-indigenous to North America. Majka and Lesage (2008) provide a recent update on the spread of L. lilii in North America.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

ChinaPresentNative Not invasive Lu and Casagrande, 1998; Yu et al., 2001; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-JilinPresentNative Not invasive Yu et al., 2001; CABI/EPPO, 2010
KazakhstanPresentNative Not invasive Lopatin, 1977; CABI/EPPO, 2010
MongoliaPresentNative Not invasive Yu et al., 2001; CABI/EPPO, 2010
TurkeyPresentNative Not invasive Özdikmen and Turgut, 2008; CABI/EPPO, 2010

Africa

AlgeriaPresentNative Not invasive Labeyrie, 1963; CABI/EPPO, 2010
MoroccoPresentNative Not invasive Labeyrie, 1963; CABI/EPPO, 2010
Spain
-Canary IslandsPresentFauna Europaea, 2006; Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010

North America

CanadaRestricted distributionIntroduced1943 Invasive Majka and Lesage, 2008; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-ManitobaPresent, few occurrencesIntroduced1999 Invasive Majka and Lesage, 2008; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-New BrunswickRestricted distributionIntroduced2002 Invasive Majka and Lesage, 2008; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-Nova ScotiaRestricted distributionIntroduced1992 Invasive Majka and Lesage, 2008; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-OntarioPresentIntroduced1981 Invasive Majka and Lesage, 2008; CABI/EPPO, 2010; Blackman et al., 2016
-Prince Edward IslandPresent, few occurrencesIntroduced2004 Invasive Majka and Lesage, 2008
-QuebecPresentIntroduced1943 Invasive Majka and Lesage, 2008; CABI/EPPO, 2010; Kealey et al., 2013
USARestricted distributionIntroduced1992 Invasive Gold, 2003; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-ConnecticutRestricted distributionIntroduced2001 Invasive Gold, 2003; CABI/EPPO, 2010; Maier, 2012
-MaineRestricted distributionIntroduced1999 Invasive Gold, 2003; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-MassachusettsWidespreadIntroduced1992 Invasive Casagrande and Livingston, 1995; Gold, 2003; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-New HampshireRestricted distributionIntroduced1997 Invasive Gold, 2003; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-New YorkRestricted distributionIntroduced2000 Invasive Gold, 2003; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-Rhode IslandWidespreadIntroduced1999 Invasive Casagrande and Gold, 2002; Gold, 2003; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-VermontRestricted distributionIntroduced1998 Invasive Gold, 2003; CABI/EPPO, 2010

Europe

AlbaniaPresentNative Not invasive Cox, 2001; CABI/EPPO, 2010
AndorraPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
AustriaWidespreadNative Not invasive Cox, 2001; Haye and Kenis, 2004; CABI/EPPO, 2010
BelarusPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
BelgiumWidespreadNative Not invasive Cox, 2001; Haye and Kenis, 2004; CABI/EPPO, 2010
Bosnia-HercegovinaPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
BulgariaWidespreadNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
CroatiaPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
Czech RepublicWidespreadNative Not invasive Cox, 2001; CABI/EPPO, 2010
Czechoslovakia (former)WidespreadNative Not invasive Cox, 2001
DenmarkPresentNative Not invasive Cox, 2001; CABI/EPPO, 2010
EstoniaPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
FinlandPresentNative Not invasive Cox, 2001; CABI/EPPO, 2010
FranceWidespreadNative Not invasive Cox, 2001; Gold et al., 2001; Haye and Kenis, 2004; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-CorsicaPresent Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-France (mainland)PresentCABI/EPPO, 2010
GermanyWidespreadNative Not invasive Cox, 2001; Haye and Kenis, 2004; CABI/EPPO, 2010
GreecePresentNative Not invasive Cox, 2001; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-CretePresentCABI/EPPO, 2010
HungaryPresentNative Not invasive Cox, 2001; CABI/EPPO, 2010
IrelandPresentO'Sullivan, 2013
ItalyWidespreadNative Not invasive Cox, 2001; Anderson and Bell, 2002; Haye and Kenis, 2004; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-Italy (mainland)PresentCABI/EPPO, 2010
-SardiniaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010
-SicilyPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010
LatviaPresent Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
LiechtensteinPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
LithuaniaPresent Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
LuxembourgPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
MaltaPresent Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
MoldovaPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
MonacoPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
MontenegroPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
NetherlandsWidespreadCox, 2001; Haye and Kenis, 2004; CABI/EPPO, 2010
NorwayPresent Not invasive Cox, 2001; CABI/EPPO, 2010
PolandPresentNative Not invasive Cox, 2001; CABI/EPPO, 2010
PortugalPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
RomaniaPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
Russian FederationPresentNative Not invasive Cox, 2001; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-Central RussiaPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-Eastern SiberiaPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-Northern RussiaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010
-Russian Far EastPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-Southern RussiaPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-Western SiberiaPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
SerbiaPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
SlovakiaPresentNative Not invasive Cox, 2001; CABI/EPPO, 2010
SloveniaPresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
SpainPresentNative Not invasive Cox, 2001; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-Spain (mainland)PresentCABI/EPPO, 2010
SwedenRestricted distributionCox, 2001; CABI/EPPO, 2010
SwitzerlandWidespreadNative Not invasive Cox, 2001; Gold et al., 2001; Haye and Kenis, 2004; CABI/EPPO, 2010
UKRestricted distributionIntroduced1940 Invasive Halstead, 1989; Cox, 2001; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-England and WalesPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010
-Northern IrelandPresentIntroduced2002 Invasive Anderson and Bell, 2002; CABI/EPPO, 2010
-ScotlandPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010
UkrainePresentNative Not invasive Fauna Europaea, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010
Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)PresentNative Not invasive Cox, 2001

History of Introduction and Spread

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As with many invasive arthropods, the history of introduction of L. lilii is not well known. L. lilii occurs throughout Eurasia, from Siberia to Morocco and from the UK to China but its native range is unclear. According to Cox (2001), who provides a detailed description of its invasion in Great Britain, the beetle is not native to the UK. It was recently found in Northern Ireland, probably introduced from Great Britain (Anderson and Bell, 2002). The occurrence of the beetle in other western countries, such as The Netherlands and Sweden, may also result from a recent invasion because its host plants do not occur naturally.

L. lilii is undoubtedly non-indigenous to North America. Majka and Lesage (2008) provide a recent update on the spread of L. lilii on the North American continent. L. lilii was first found in Quebec, Canada in 1943, from where it has spread to several Canadian Provinces (Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island) and Vermont and Maine in the USA. It was officially reported in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1992, and it is now found in several New England states.

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Canada 1943 Yes Majka and Lesage, 2008
Connecticut 2001 Yes Gold, 2003
Maine 1999 Yes Gold, 2003
Manitoba 1999 Yes Majka and Lesage, 2008
Massachusetts 1992 Yes Casagrande and Livingston, 1995; Gold, 2003
New Brunswick 2002 Yes Majka and Lesage, 2008
New Hampshire 1997 Yes Gold, 2003
New York 2000 Yes Gold, 2003
Northern Ireland 2002 Yes Anderson and Bell, 2002
Nova Scotia 1992 Yes Majka and Lesage, 2008
Ontario 1981 Yes Majka and Lesage, 2008
Prince Edward Island 2004 Yes Majka and Lesage, 2008
Quebec 1943 Yes Majka and Lesage, 2008
Rhode Island 1999 Yes Casagrande and Gold, 2002; Gold, 2003
UK 1940 Yes Cox, 2001; Halstead, 1989
USA 1992 Yes Gold, 2003
Vermont 1998 Yes Gold, 2003

Habitat

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L. lilii (lily leaf beetle) occurs both in gardens and commercial lily fields as in various natural habitats in which wild lilies grow.

Habitat List

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CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial-managed
Cultivated / agricultural land Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Protected agriculture (e.g. glasshouse production) Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial-natural/semi-natural
Natural forests Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Principal habitat Natural
Natural grasslands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Principal habitat Natural
Wetlands Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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Larvae develop on cultivated and wild lilies (Lilium spp.), Fritillaria spp., Cardiocrinum giganteum and Maianthemum canadense (Lesage, 1983; Livingston, 1996; Cox, 2001; Haye and Kenis, 2004; Ernst et al., 2007). Other host plants for larvae mentioned in the literature must be regarded as dubious and may result from misidentifications of adults or larvae. Adults will accept a wider range of food plants, especially in laboratory rearing (Livingston, 1996).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Cardiocrinum giganteum (giant lily)LiliaceaeOther
FritillariaLiliaceaeMain
Lilium (lily)LiliaceaeMain
Lilium michiganenseLiliaceaeOther
Streptopus lanceolatusLiliaceaeHabitat/association

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Vegetative growing stage

List of Symptoms/Signs

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Inflorescence

  • external feeding

Leaves

  • external feeding
  • frass visible

Biology and Ecology

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Physiology and phenology

The life cycle of L. lilii is described by Livingston (1996) in Massachusetts, Cox (2001) in southern England, and Haye and Kenis (2004) in northern Switzerland. Adults overwinter in soil, litter and debris, and emerge in spring to mate and feed on the first leaves of Lilium and Fritillaria. At 25°C, adults have a pre-oviposition period of about 2 weeks. The first eggs are laid in early April in Massachusetts and the UK, and in late April in Switzerland. Eggs are laid in rows of 2-16 on the underside of leaves. Oviposition occurs from spring to late summer, as long as fresh lily leaves are available. At 22°C, the egg stage lasts 6-7 days (Haye and Kenis, 2004). Each female can lay over 300 eggs (Cox, 2001). The four instar larvae are covered by a thick fecal shield and feed on leaves, flowers and buds. First-instar larvae feed on the leaf surface, whereas older instars feed on the complete leaves, starting from the margin and as the lower leaves are consumed they move upwards to locate undamaged leaves. Larval development requires about 3 weeks outdoors. At 22°C, the developmental period for the four larval instars is 1.9, 2.7, 2.8 and 3.4 days, respectively (Haye and Kenis, 2004). Mature larvae build a white cocoon in the soil, in which pupation occurs. At 22°C, the prepupal and pupal stages in the cocoon last 8.9 and 11.6 days, respectively. In England, the new generation adults were observed in mid-June (Cox, 2001), but in outdoor rearing in Switzerland, the first adults appeared on 31 July, nearly 2 months after the larvae had entered the soil (Haye and Kenis, 2004). Newly emerged adults first feed on lilies and, perhaps, other plants before finding overwintering sites. They neither mate nor oviposit before the winter. Although several publications report multiple generations, the beetle is clearly univoltine. Adults that are commonly observed ovipositing in late summer are 1-year-old individuals.

Environmental requirements

In Europe, L. lilii is are found wherever lilies are grown, from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean region, and up to 2000 m altitude in the Alps, suggesting that they have a wide climatic range.

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate Tolerated Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
D - Continental/Microthermal climate Preferred Continental/Microthermal climate (Average temp. of coldest month < 0°C, mean warmest month > 10°C)
Df - Continental climate, wet all year Preferred Continental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)
Ds - Continental climate with dry summer Preferred Continental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)
Dw - Continental climate with dry winter Preferred Continental climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry winters)

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Diaparsis jucunda Parasite Larvae to genus
Lemophagus errabundus Parasite Larvae to genus
Lemophagus pulcher Parasite Larvae
Meigenia simplex Parasite Larvae
Meigenia uncinata Parasite Larvae
Mesochorus lilioceriphilus Hyperparasite Larvae
Tetrastichus setifer Parasite Larvae to genus

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Nothing is known of predators and pathogens of L. lilii. In contrast, the parasitoid complex in Europe has been studied by Haye (2000), Gold et al. (2001), Salisbury (2003) and Haye and Kenis (2004). In Central Europe, eggs are occasionally parasitized by an undetermined mymarid, Anaphes sp., which is present nearly exclusively in forests on wild lilies. Larvae are heavily attacked by three Ichneumonidae (Diaparsis jucunda, Lemophagus pulcher and L. errabundus) and one Eulophidae, Tetrastichus setifer. All of them attack the four larval instars and kill their host in its cocoon in the soil, where they overwinter. They are specific to the genus Lilioceris, with the possible exception of L. pulcher, which also attacks and develops on some other Criocerinae in the laboratory (Gold, 2003; Casagrande and Kenis, 2004). Larvae are also occasionally parasitized by two tachinid flies, Meigenia simplex and M. uncinata. In addition, the hyperparasitoid Mesochorus lilioceriphilus develops in larvae of Lemophagus spp.

Haye and Kenis (2004) measured mean larval parasitism rates of 25-66% in European gardens and 78% on wild lilies in Switzerland. In the last larval instar, parasitism rates were commonly over 80%.

Tritrophic chemical interactions between larvae of L. lilii and its main larval parasitoids were investigated by Schaffner and Müller (2001) and Scarborough (2002). Female parasitoids are strongly attracted by the fecal shield of L. lilii, as well as by lily leaves damaged by parasitoids.

In North America, no natural enemy was recorded until T. setifer was released and established in Rhode Island as part of a biological control programme (Tewksbury et al., 2005).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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The pathways of introduction to new regions are not known, but are most probably associated with the sale and movement of potted lilies, flowering bulbs or cut flowers. Eggs and larvae are easy carried on lily leaves and pupae and teneral adults are found in the soil attached to bulbs.

Natural dispersal (non-biotic)

Little is known of the dispersal capabilities of L. lilii. Adults are apparently able to fly over relatively long distances to locate host plants, because new plantations of lilies in isolated gardens are commonly attacked within 1 or 2 years.

Accidental introduction

Although no proof exists, it is believed that L. lilii was imported to North America and the UK through bulk shipments of flowering bulbs (Livingston, 1996). The long-distance movements of L. lilii in North America is also attributed to the sale and movement of potted lilies, which can carry eggs and larvae on the leaves, and pupae and teneral adults in the soil.

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Cut flower trade Yes Yes
Horticulture Yes Yes
Nursery trade Yes Yes

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Plants or parts of plants Yes Yes

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx eggs; larvae No Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Growing medium accompanying plants No Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Leaves eggs; larvae No Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Bark
Bulbs/Tubers/Corms/Rhizomes
Fruits (inc. pods)
Roots
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches
True seeds (inc. grain)
Wood

Wood Packaging

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Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Loose wood packing material
Non-wood
Processed or treated wood
Solid wood packing material with bark
Solid wood packing material without bark

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Animal/plant collections None
Animal/plant products None
Biodiversity (generally) None
Crop production Negative
Economic/livelihood Negative
Environment (generally) Negative
Fisheries / aquaculture None
Forestry production None
Human health None
Livestock production None
Native fauna None
Native flora Negative
Rare/protected species None
Tourism None
Trade/international relations None
Transport/travel None

Impact

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L. lilii has become a serious pest of lilies and fritillaries in New England, USA, and eastern Canada. Without control methods, leaves and flowers are totally defoliated by larvae. Growers respond by using insecticides or eliminating their lilies (Gold, 2003). In Europe, the level of damage varies among regions, but damage levels seem to have increased in recent years, particularly in England, UK and The Netherlands (Cox, 2001; Conijn and Blom-Barnhoorn, 2001). It is not considered a serious pest among Dutch bulb producers because the fields are sprayed with insecticides against aphids, but it is expected that, with the increasing demand for organic horticulture and the possible ban of pesticides, the beetle will become a serious problem in bulb production as well (Conijn and Blom-Barnhoorn, 2001).

Economic Impact

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L. lilii has become a serious pest of lilies and fritillaries in New England (USA) and eastern Canada. Without control methods, leaves and flowers are totally defoliated by larvae. Growers respond by using insecticides or eliminating their lilies (Gold, 2003). In Europe, the level of damage varies among regions, but damage levels seem to have increased in recent years, particularly in England, UK, and The Netherlands (Cox, 2001; Conijn and Blom-Barnhoorn, 2001). It is not considered a serious pest among Dutch bulb producers because the fields are sprayed with insecticides against aphids, but it is expected that, with the increasing demand for organic horticulture and the possible ban of pesticides, the beetle will become a serious problem in bulb production as well (Conijn and Blom-Barnhoorn, 2001).

Environmental Impact

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There are 21 native species of lilies in North America. Many of these species are rare and some are classified as endangered. L. lilii is able to develop on North American species of lily and has already been observed on wild populations of Lilium canadense in Quebec (Ernst, 2007; Bouchard, 2008; Majka and Lesage, 2008). Its impact on wild populations of these native species has not been measured. However, considering the voracity of the beetle and its impact on cultivated lilies in the absence of parasitoids, it is probable that some of these native lilies will be severely threatened by the beetle if the introduced parasitoids fail to control the pest (Ernst et al., 2007; Bouchard, 2008). Lilies need healthy foliage to store energy in the bulbs after flowering, and it is very likely that after several years of total defoliation, the lilies would loose their ability to flower, or may even die. In Central Europe, wild populations of Lilium martagon may be severely defoliated, but total defoliation occurs only rarely, probably because of high parasitism rates.

Impact: Biodiversity

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There are 21 native species of lilies in North America. Many of these species are rare and some are classified as endangered. L. lilii is able to develop on North American species lilies and has already been observed on wild populations of Lilium canadense in Quebec (Ernst et al., 2007; Bouchard et al., 2008; Majka and Lesage, 2008). Its impact on wild lilies has not been measured but, considering the voracity of the beetle and its impact on cultivated lilies in the absence of parasitoids, it is probable that some of these native lilies will be severely threatened by the beetle if the introduced parasitoids fail to control the pest (Ernst et al., 2007; Bouchard, 2008). Lilies need healthy foliage to store energy in the bulbs after flowering, and it is very likely that after several years of total defoliation, the lilies would loose their ability to flower, or may even die. In Central Europe, wild populations of Lilium martagon may be severely defoliated, but total defoliation occurs only rarely, probably because of high parasitism rates.

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Lilium canadense (Canada lily)No DetailsCanada; USA; USA/Alabama; USA/CaliforniaBouchard et al., 2008

Risk and Impact Factors

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Impact mechanisms

  • Herbivory/grazing/browsing

Impact outcomes

  • Host damage
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Threat to/ loss of native species

Invasiveness

  • Abundant in its native range
  • Gregarious
  • Has a broad native range
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Long lived
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Tolerant of shade

Likelihood of entry/control

  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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There is no other Lilioceris species in North America and no similar chrysomelid species feeding on Liliaceae. In Central and Western Europe, two congeneric species occur, which are morphologically and biologically similar (Haye and Kenis, 2004). L. merdigera is a common species developing on Allium spp., Polygonatum spp. and Convallaria majalis. Larvae are very similar to those of L. lilii, but adults are easily distinguished by their red head and red legs. The rare L. tibialis feeds on wild Lilium spp. in the Alps and has red tibia. Larvae are more greying than those of L. lilii. In Asia, many more Lilioceris spp. occur, many of which could be confused with L. lilii (Berti and Rapilly, 1976).

Prevention and Control

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Cultural Control

Nearly all lily species and cultivars are susceptible to L. lilii. Only Lilium henryi and its hybrids seem more resistant and could be promoted (Livingston, 1996; Conijn and Blom-Barnhoorn, 2001).

Mechanical Control

In private gardens, adults, eggs and larvae can be hand-picked and destroyed to reduce pest populations.

Chemical Control

L. lilii is easily controlled with various insecticides used against other beetles. Applications of malathion, azadirachtin (neem) and imidachloprid provided effective control, in contrast to Bt (Livingston, 1996). In Europe, professional lily growers and bulb producers still rely on large-spectrum insecticides used primarily against aphids. The use of insecticides should not be encouraged in private gardens, where hand-picking adults, eggs and larvae can provide sufficient control, especially in Europe were the damage level is often low. If chemical control is necessary, preference should be given to azadirachtin rather than to more toxic chemicals.

Biological Control

L. lilii is currently the target of a biological control programme using larval parasitoids from Europe (Kenis et al., 2003; Tewksbury et al., 2005). The eulophid parasitoid Tetrastichus setifer has been released against L. lilii in New England, USA, and has become established at several release sites, where pest populations have declined (Tewksbury et al., 2005). The ichneumonids Diaparsis jucunda and Lemophagus errabundus have also been released to complement the action of T. setifer and their impact is presently being assessed.

In contrast to the adult beetle, parasitoids overwinter in the soil in the immediate vicinity of the bulbs. Thus, removing the bulbs or ploughing the soil around the bulbs is highly detrimental to parasitoids and should be discouraged in private gardens.

References

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Contributors

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03/11/2008 Updated by:

Marc Kenis, CABI Europe - Switzerland, 1 Chemin des Grillons, CH-2800 Delémont, Switzerland

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