I realise that rosemary beetles are a pest, but they’re such a beautiful colour! You can almost see my camera’s reflection in this one.
The rosemary beetle (chrysolina americana), as you might expect from the name, likes to eat the leaves of the rosemary plant. It’s also fond of a host of other herbs, including thyme, lavender (not strictly a herb, I know) and sage, which this one is sitting on. It’s a huge sage plant, so there’s plenty to go around! I’d prefer it to leave the rosemary alone, however.
I may not be quite so happy to see it in a few weeks, as apparently it’s around now (September) that they start to become active, after being fairly dormant in July and August. The beetle feeds on new plant growth, and causes die back. From southern Europe originally, it has only become particularly prevalent in the UK in the last couple of decades. In fact, the BBC says they first appeared in the UK in 1994, which isn’t that long ago.
Well, I’m still excited about finding it, because it’s the first I’ve ever seen.