Plant diseases

Shroud beetle (Oxythyrea funesta)

The Oxythyrea baleful is a plague that can affect your garden, this being a beetle that usually specifically attack the deteriorándolos rosebushes. Also known as shroud beetles, they usually appear on our ornamental flowers when spring begins and this has to do with the fact that they feed mainly on the pollen that is housed there.

Their rapid reproduction can make them become a threat to good health, especially rose bushes and that is why certain specific care must be taken to scare them away from our open spaces. In this article, we will talk about Oxythyrea baneta and review its characteristics and how to take care of these coleopterans.

Characteristics of Oxythyrea funesta

When we talk about the Oxythyrea funesta or shroud beetle, as it is commonly known, we are talking about a species of insects that are very small and that usually begin a systematic attack on our flowers, especially rose bushes, when spring begins to arrive. our hemisphere.

These will deteriorate the cultivated flowers by gnawing on them. There is no single type of rose bush from which these small animals are used to feed, but they are polyphagous, being able to ingest a large amount of food, among which is the pollen found in all types of floral organs.

It must be recognized that they are quite a difficult pest to handle if your crops are rose bushes. In the case of their larvae, they feed on the roots of the same flowers that they will later prey on in the future.

This resource of feeding particularly on rose bushes causes them to suffer damage that alters their aesthetics. Even so, this will mean a problem for the ornamentation of our flowers, so it is always convenient to keep this pest controlled so that it does not significantly damage our crops.

The shroud beetle is a very small animal, which can measure up to one centimeter in length on its body and usually has a robust body appearance with a very small head, from which short antennae can be seen.

His entire body shows an intense black color, but you can also see different colors among which a rather coppery tone is noted, in addition to a few rows of white spots that they have on the thoracic part, as well as some spots. point-shaped and whitish on its abdomen.

One of its great characteristics is that of being a pollinator and that is why the shroud beetle is covered with short hairs, which are used to carry out this pollination task.

If you have ever been close to one of these specimens, you will have noticed that while it flies it produces a particular buzzing noise, which can be confused mainly with that made by other pollinators such as bees.

Those hairs will wear out when the specimens of the species enter the adult stage due to their use, something that will make them lose their pollinating power over time.

It is very likely that the specimens of this species are confused with those of Epicometis hirta, also very common in gardens and that present very similar characteristics, in their appearance and length, as well as in the composition of their colors.

The way to differentiate them, to know which plague we are facing, is to count how many spines are seen on the tibiae of its first row of legs, since while the shroud beetle has two, the other species shows three.

Their larvae

The larvae of Oxythyrea funesta show a whitish color, a robust build and a slimy coating and tend to live mainly in manure, compost or in any area where some type of organic matter is lodged.

But just as they can represent a benefit for areas where any type of organic matter is found, they can represent a threat to the substrate of the bacchanalia or in the soils where our crops are found.

All because they show great voracity and a particular predilection for the roots, attacking crops from the base, something that makes it best to carry out the task of eliminating them from these places to avoid this attack.

Habitat

The shroud beetle has a specific presence throughout the European and Asian territory, being distributed between Central and Southern Europe, the Middle East and Asia Minor, where it can become a pest for our crops.

It is a species that is found very frequently throughout the Iberian Peninsula and is usually found mainly in bushes, areas of low vegetation, all kinds of fruit gardens, cultivation areas and different forest clearings, beginning its most significant presence during spring times..

Their habitat is generally those edges of the woods and meadows where the temperature is pleasant and generally warm. The female will be the one that deposits the larvae underground and their development will be generated there, while they begin to gnaw the roots of the plants that are there.

Treatment

Although there are many methods that come close to a control mechanism of these, we must say that in some cases, the results of these ways are not usually positive, but in other situations, there are ways to keep this pest controlled in the event that are affecting your rose crops.

One of the traps that is used in order to attract these beetles for removal is to use female pheromones. What you will do with this is to attract the males, thus being able to gather a large number of them, something that otherwise could not be done.

These traps, where we will apply the pheromones, must have regular cleaning maintenance, since according to specialists, the fact that there are many dead females in them will be counterproductive, attracting a greater number of male beetles due to the attractive aroma.

With these traps, what we will do is then be able to manually retain them, since they do not have a great speed. It would be convenient if you take a small container and add water to it, so that while you are taking them you insert the inserts there and they drown. It will be very useful to add just a little liquid soap to that water, which will make the surface tension of the water yield.

The Oxythyrea baleful is a beetle that can be controlled and does not cause major damage, but it is always better not to have them in our rosebushes for better health of these.

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