Dock plants are famously associated as being a remedy to the irritation caused by stinging nettles. They are also the home of a very pretty beetle called the green dock beetle (Gastrophysa viridula).
These beetles have an incredible metallic shimmer to them, but are not always green. Colours include blue, gold, red, violet or a two tone combination of these. They certainly add a bit of colour to the slightly dull dock plants they tend to inhabit.
They spend all of their life on these plants, feeding and breeding on them. The adults are tiny, with males being about 4mm long and females a mighty 7mm. Once they’ve mated, the female lays about 1000 cream coloured, oval eggs, which turn orange before they hatch.
The larvae are slightly longer than the adults and are dull green or brown. Pupation takes place underground, where they take about a week to change into the shimmering beauties that decorate the dock leaves.
See you soon,
Rhian – Seasonal Ranger