Strawberry seed beetle

Infestations of this generally common carabid often occur in strawberry fields during the fruiting period. The adult beetles remove seeds from the ripening fruits and, particularly if seeds are deeply set, will also injure the surrounding flesh. Linnets {Carduelis cannabina (L.)) also remove seeds from ripening strawberries but cleanly and from the more exposed parts of fruits.

BIOLOGY

Larvae usually overwinter in the grassy surroundings of fields. They emerge in the spring to feed on invertebrates and seeds of various plants, especially Chenopodium album and Lolium; unlike the adults, however, they do not attack strawberry fruits. Larvae usually complete their development by July and then pupate. Young

Fig. 199 Strawberry seed beetle, Harpalus rufipes (x4).

adults emerge, and eggs are eventually laid in the soil a few centimetres below the surface. The eggs hatch shortly afterwards and larvae feed into the autumn before hibernating. A proportion of the adult population also overwinters.

DESCRIPTION

Adult 11-17 mm long, dull black with a yellowish pubescence on the elytra (Fig. 199); legs and antennae reddish.

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