Green Dock Beetle

I’m walking along a stretch of the River Otter in Devon. The sign says there are Beavers here.

There’s a green leaf beetle with an exceptionally metallic sheen on this leaf.

Green Dock Beetle - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It’s only 5 or 6 mm long. It’s so fat it must be pregnant.

Further on I notice Dock plants which have been stripped of all the fleshy parts of their leaves. All that’s left is this lattice:

Green Dock Beetle - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I stare at a few and realise they are all like it. I turn one leaf over and find the culprit:

Green Dock Beetle - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It looks like a Ladybird larva but I don’t think it is. It must be some sort of beetle larva though:

Green Dock Beetle - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

On one leaf are a pile of bright orange-yellow eggs. I wonder what they are?

Green Dock Beetle - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Then I realise. The eggs, are the eggs which hatch into the larvae and the larvae are the ones which pupate and turn into the beetles:

Green Dock Beetle - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

They are the Green Dock Beetle, Gastrophysa viridula. A true jewel.

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