Nursery, Greenhouse, and Landscape

Searching for Lily Leaf Beetle Natural Enemies

The lily leaf beetle (Lilioceris lilii), a Eurasian pest that feeds on native and cultivated lilies, was first found in Canada in the 1940's and in Boston in 1992. It now occurs in three eastern Canadian provinces and several New England states--and seems capable of spreading throughout North America. No natural enemies of the beetle have been found in North America.

Surveys for parasitoids of the lily leaf beetle started in 1996 in France, and in 1998 a collaborative research program was initiated between the University of Rhode Island and the CABI Bioscience Center in Switzerland. In Europe, beetles on both cultivated and wild lilies are heavily parasitized by at least three larval parasitoids. These wasps are being examined as possible candidates for importation into North America. The distribution and natural enemies of the beetle are also being studied in China, where the lily leaf beetle is believed to have originated.


Kenis, M., R. Casagrande, and L. Lesage. 1999. Biological control of the lily leaf beetle in North America. Pest Managment News 10(4): 10.

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