Longitarsus parvulus (Paykull, 1799)

Taxonomy: Polyphaga > Chrysomeloidea > Chrysomelidae > Longitarsus > Longitarsus parvulus

Common name: 

Flax & linseed flea beetle


Size: 1.3-1.5mm
Basic colour: Shiny reddish-brown, dark brown or black.
Pattern colour: None
Number of spots: None
Pronotoum: As basic colour
Leg colour: Orange-brown, hind femora darkened.

Palaearctic, also Macaronesia, Cape Verde and North Africa. Expansion in the UK may be due to increased acreage of flax/linseed cultivation.


Status: Widespread and fairly common. Previously considered Scarce (Notable), but has increased in range and abundance, hence not now threatened. No records from Scotland, only old records from Ireland
Habitat: Various
Host plant: Linum spp (wild and cultivated)
Overwintering: As adults
Food: Adults on leaves, larvae at roots - can cause economically significant damage to seedlings of commercial flax/linseed crops.
Other notes: Adults parasitised by a braconid wasp (probably Perilitus sp.), a nematode (Howardula phyllotretae) and a mite (Trombidium sp.). Eggs parasitised by a mymarid wasp (Anaphes regulus).

Distribution (may take a minute to appear)