The Garden Guide

Book: The Principles of Landscape Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 1: Entomology as Applied to Gardens

The small jumping beetle, turnip fly Haltica nemorum

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1630. The small jumping beetle, called by farmers the turnip fly, is the Haltica nemorum, and belongs to this order. It commences its attack upon the turnip plants when they first emerge from the ground. It has been calculated by an eminent agriculturist, that, from this cause alone, the loss sustained in 1786, among the turnips in Devonshire, was no less than 100,000�. (Young's Ann. of Agr., vol. vii. p. 102.) Haltica concinna, which very much resembles the last, is more particularly destructive to the hop plant, and it is called the flea by hop growers. (* Many other species of the family Chrysomelid�, to which the turnip flea-beetle belongs, are also very injurious to plants; as is also the asparagus beetle (Crioceris asparagi). The entire family of longicorn beetles (Cerambyx Linn.) burrow in the larva state in solid wood, and from their large size cause much damage to timber trees. The death-watch (Anobium pertinax) burrows into the woodwork of our houses and furniture, and often destroys property to a considerable amount; whilst the meal-worm (Tenebrio molitor) commits much mischief in barrels of flour, biscuits, &c. The lady-birds (Coccinellid�) are amongst the few species in this order which are beneficial to mankind, as detailed in a subsequent page.) The last coleopterous insect we shall mention is the Dermestes lardarius, or bacon grub, well known to most housewives, by its devouring bacon, ham, and all descriptions of dried meat. The larva (fig. 280. f) is long and hairy, the pupa (g) soft, and the perfect beetle (h) is a third of an inch in length, of a dusky brown colour, with the basal half of the wing-cases whitish, marked with black specks.