Length: 7-9 mm
This member of the Leaf Beetle family feeds on the Alders that are so common along streams. Like other members of the genus Calligrapha, this species has intricate markings that resemble hieroglyphics.
There are two published records of Calligrapha alni in West Virginia, both from Tucker County, 27 July 1972 and 28 May 1993 (Clark, 2000).
The Russet Alder Leaf Beetle is a northern species; West Virginia is at the southern edge of its range.
Robertson (1966) reported that in some colonies the two sexes were present in roughly equal numbers, but that another colony yielded 3 males and 52 females, while yet another was home to 4 males and 12 females. In some species of Calligrapha males are unknown, and these species reproduce by parthenogenesis. In the case of Calligrapha alni a parthenogenetic colony may exist side-by-side with a colony that has both males and females and reproduces sexually.
A note about our maps Insects of West Virginia