These beetles are dull black in colour, oval-shaped with a slightly flattened body.They are usually brown or dull black in colour.
Adult size: 3 mm
Out and about
Adult beetles usually emerge in the warm weather and are active when plants are flowering. They like the rainy, warm weather of the subtropics. They are native to Australia and also found in New Zealand and parts of the South Pacific.
Reproduction and Life cycle
The females lay eggs in unopened flower buds near the source of nectar. This usually causes the bud to drop to the ground. When the larvae hatch they eat the bud from the inside then they move into the soil where they pupate. They can produce many generations during the year.
These beetles are difficult to control because of their hard elytra (wing casings) and they are usually hidden right inside flower. The other problem with using any sprays is that bees are likely to be affected by any residues that may be on the pollen.
-Yellow or white containers filled with soapy water may attract and drown beetles.
-Remove flowers which have been dropped by the plant
-A neem drench at the base of the plants may stop the larvae from pupating
Plants to repel
Plants to attract
Parasitoid wasps and flies / Predatory beetles
Why they are a Pest
They feed on flower buds and flowers chewing holes in the petals and foliage. Apparently the plant can detect these beetles and will drop the attacked flower (flowers falling to the ground can indicate the presence of the beetles).They will also feed on seeds and ripe fruit.
They may carry disease causing microorganisms from plant to plant.
The photo I took was of the beetle on a flower of a rosella bush, which is a hibiscus.Okra is another hibiscus plant which they may also get into. They also like other crops including strawberries and magnolias. I didn’t find it a particular problem and luckily they were not in massive numbers.
They seem to prefer white or pale coloured flowers.