This has got to be one of the shiniest leaf beetles in Canada and I was glad to come across them this hot summers’ day when I was feeling down and dispirited. As their name suggests, these beetles feed on Dogbane (Apocynum sp.), a plant known for its poisonous milky sap. The beetles are able to sequester the poisons from the host plants and are then able to use them as defence against predators by secreting them from pronotal and elytral glands.¹
Just spending 25 minutes with these metallic marvels brought me round to my usual benevolent self, ready to face the trials and tribulations of life once more. 🙂
Photographed 27 June 2015, in the North Saskatchewan River valley, Edmonton.
¹Dobler, S., D. Daloze, J. Pasteels. 1998. Sequestration of plant compounds in a leaf beetle’s defensive secretion: cardenolides in Chrysochus. Chemoecology, 8: 111-118.