Common asparagus beetle

PHOTO CAPTION: The common asparagus beetle Crioceris asparagi is an important pest of asparagus crops. Photo by Keith Edkins 2003

The Common Asparagus Beetle (Crioceris asparagi) is an chief pest of Asparagus crops both in Europe and in North America; asparagus is its only food plant.

The adult beetles and the larvae strip the needle-like leaves off the asparagus fronds which deprives the plants of the ability to build food reserves for future years. They also damage the shoots, thereby making the current crop unmarketable.

Various insecticides are licensed for control, and the parasitic wasp Tetrastichus asparagi Crawford has been successfully used for biological control.

The similar Spotted Asparagus Beetle (Crioceris duodecimpunctata) is not an important pest as it feeds only on the asparagus berries.