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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 02, 2021

Green Dock Beetle: 19 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Discover amazing and fun green dock beetle facts.

If you ever go out for a stroll in a garden, you will see a variety of fun and interesting creatures just waiting to be found! Some of them are brilliantly colored, others, not so much. One such interesting insect is the green dock beetle. Unfortunately for the adult form of this beetle, it is in fact the young form of this insect that draws interest. The body of the larva is segmented and grows to be 0.3 in (8 mm) long. If disturbed during feeding, young larvae will fall to the ground, while adult larvae produce a chemical that prevents competitors from consuming the leaves of their food plant. The larvae pupate in a 0.7 in (2 cm) underground burrow after three stages. The adult appears six to nine days later.

The green dock beetle makes for a very interesting read indeed! There are hundreds of other animals and birds just waiting for you to learn about! You can stay on and get to know about this small beetle, or you could head on over to the whirlgig beetle or the black blister beetle and expand the world of your knowledge.

Green Dock Beetle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a green dock beetle?

The green dock beetle (Gastrophysa viridula) is a type of beetle. It is a European beetle species

What class of animal does a green dock beetle belong to?

The Gastrophysa viridula beetle belongs to the class of arthropods.

How many green dock beetles are there in the world?

In the United Kingdom, this species is ubiquitous, and in Leicestershire and Rutland, this beetle is widespread. The approximated population of these beetles is not known.

Where does a green dock beetle live?

These beetles live in the woods and gardens with plant docks. Their mating season is between March and October

What is a green dock beetle's habitat?

This metallic green species's habitat consists of wet areas, heathlands, dune slacks, forests, grasslands, meadows, fields, and gardens with dock plants, this beetle's favorite food plant.  

Who do green dock beetles live with?

Active parenthood in leaf beetles is significant because the insects normally live out their lives solitary, lacking the more complicated social activity seen in ants, bees, wasps, and termites.

How long does a green dock beetles live?

An adult green dock beetle's life span is only a few months, however, they can hibernate during the winter. Metamorphosis occurs in eastern Hercules beetles under the ground where the larva lives for 6-12 months. They then mature into adults and survive for three to six months. This is the case for the green dock beetle too.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season for this leaf bug spans from March to October. Each year, there are two to four broods, with the last brood hibernating as an adult. The female lays approximately 1,000 eggs on the underside of the food plant's leaves in groups of 20-45. The eggs are usually oval in shape, cream to yellowish in color, and become orange before hatching. The larvae develop from the eggs after three to six days. The larvae have a similar appearance to ladybird larvae and range in color from dark gray through brown.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the beetle green dock is Not Evaluated by the IUCN due to their wide distribution range across Europe.

Green Dock Beetle Fun Facts

What do green dock beetles look like?

Males of these dock beetles are 0.16 in (4 mm) long, while the females are 0.28 in (7 mm) long. Females have larger abdomens during the breeding season. Both sexes have a metallic shimmer of gold, green, violet, purple, blue, or red, dependent on the light. The legs of this species are also a shiny metallic green color and are well-built. The antennae are moderate in length and jagged.

The green dock beetle (Gastrophysa viridula) is a type of insect that lives on the leaves of dock plants, sometimes known as the green sorrel beetle or the green dock leaf beetle.

How cute are they?

These beetles appear to be adorable and appealing due to their gleaming, brilliant colors.

How do they communicate?

Most beetles use chemicals to communicate with other insects. For example, scent is a common way for men to find females. In addition, some beetles generate noise by rubbing their legs against their bodies or scratching their mouthparts together.

How big is a green dock beetle?

The average length of these beetles is between 0.16-0.28 in (4-7 mm). On the other hand, the length of burying beetles is about 1-1.5 in (2.5-3.8 cm). These dock beetles are much smaller than burying beetles.

How fast can green dock beetles move?

This bug can be seen flying in low, leisurely loops just a few inches (centimeters) over lawns or turf grass during June and July.

How much does a green dock beetle weigh?

Due to a lack of research, the weight of this insect that lays its eggs on the underside of dock leaves and has dark gray-colored larvae, is unknown.

What are the male and female names of the species?

An adult male and female beetle of this species do not have special names. Their breeding season is between March and October and their eggs remain oval in shape.

What would you call a baby green dock beetle?

A baby green dock beetle is sometimes blue in color and its primary diet is dock leaves and sorell plants. These beetles do not have a special name.

What do they eat?

This leaf beetle eats mostly green sorrel and dock plants. This beetle sometimes does feed on other plants from the Polygonaceae, Boraginaceae, and Violaceae, families. Only the Rumex species allow the larvae to grow fully.

Are they harmful?

They do not strike or bite humans and are not harmful, but they aren't a pleasant bug.

Would they make a good pet?

This leaf bug is a wild creature that cannot live in a home setting. It would not make an excellent pet.

Did you know...

Aphids are little, harmful green insects that feed on plant sap. Look for aphids beneath plant leaves to see if there are any traces of these small pests. Their bodies are pear-shaped and come in various colors like green, yellow, black, and brown. A sticky honeydew fluid on plants and yellowish curling leaves are further evidence of aphid activity.

How do you get rid of green dock beetles?

Fill warm water and a spoonful of dish soap in a 1 gal (3.7 L) bucket. Put on your gardening gloves and place the bucket beneath the leaves of the affected plants. Remove the bugs and drop them in the container. It is  possible that tapping the plant will cause some beetles to drop off and into the bucket.

Are green dock beetles blind?

Many people believe these bugs are blind because they continuously collide with objects when flying or strolling. However, they're basically clumsy creatures by nature. While attracted to reflecting lights, June bugs can perish if exposed to light for too long because their bodies aren't designed to be under constant light.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these water beetle facts and stag beetle facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable hide beetle coloring pages.

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