Insect and Bug ID forum: Keep seeing these on Willow trees

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Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Apr 18, 2015 4:01 PM CST
Hi everyone! I've been scouring the willows, looking for Viceroy caterpillars to no avail. But I do keep finding these weird bugs. In some cases, they've infested the whole tree and I think that's discouraging the butterflies to lay their eggs. I just wondered what they were and if they're good, bad, or indifferent.

Thumb of 2015-04-18/mellielong/37a36f

And I have no idea if this is related or if those things molt, but I also keep seeing these things alongside them.

Thumb of 2015-04-18/mellielong/795202 Thumb of 2015-04-18/mellielong/c8990c

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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Apr 19, 2015 4:39 AM CST
It's a cottonwood leaf beetle, Chrysomela scripta :

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/trees/beetles/cottonwood...

Not a good guy from the trees' point of view.
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Apr 19, 2015 7:49 AM CST
Thanks, Sue! Don't you love the UF webpages? Those beetles sure sound like nasty things and from what I've seen them doing to the willow trees, they are! The willows I saw yesterday weren't too bad but I've seen others just covered in these things. Also, I found it interesting that it was the pupa case I saw. I wouldn't have guessed that but after reading the article I see that it makes sense. I hope my Viceroy butterflies are finding cotton beetle free willows to lay their eggs on.
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