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Spreading Dogbane Flowering & Attracting Dogbane Beetles

7-17-14 dogbane & dogbane beetle190The tiny, pink, bell-like flowers of Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium), emit a smell reminiscent of Lilacs. Like its milkweed relatives, Spreading Dogbane has milky, white sap and is poisonous to many species (hence, its name). Monarchs occasionally lay their eggs on its leaves, but the larvae do not mature. Associated exclusively with this perennial is its namesake, the Dogbane Beetle (Chrysochus auratus). A combination of iridescent greens, blues and gold make Dogbane Beetles one of the most striking beetles found in New England. They avoid some predators by giving off a foul-smelling secretion when they are touched. Dogbane Beetles are a third to a half-an-inch long and are often found in the process of mating at this time of year.

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3 responses

  1. With similar coloring, they are like our own version of the Japanese beetle. Hopefully, not as damaging!

    July 17, 2014 at 2:11 pm

  2. I have also seen Dogbane beetles on Indian Hemp:

    July 29, 2014 at 12:44 pm

  3. Marty Green

    For the dogbane in my field, spreading is an understatement! I could sure use some beetles.

    July 9, 2015 at 9:30 pm

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