Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Passionflower Flea Beetle (Disonycha discoidea)

Passionflower Flea Beetle (Disonycha discoidea)
Adult flea beetles are leaf skeletonizers, meaning that they riddle a leaf with holes as they eat it.  Flea beetles have enlarged femora (upper leg segments) on their hind legs and jump just like a flea when disturbed or threatened.  They take one big leap and are gone.  This action is known to provoke would be photographers into uttering a few choice words and phrases.

Not surprisingly, the Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is the primary host plant for the passionflower flea beetle, although it is not known if it is their exclusive food source.