Fun Tansy Beetle Facts For Kids

Ritika Katariya
Feb 20, 2024 By Ritika Katariya
Originally Published on Aug 26, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Tansy beetle facts that you will enjoy.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.5 Min

The very attractive tansy beetles are a tiny species popularly spotted near the River Ouse around York, England. They are a wildlife species as well as cosmopolitan and they can be spotted in gardens and open parks. Their blinding metallic sheen, although very striking, is not unique to their own species. They can be confused with beetles related to them such as the mint leaf beetle and the dead-nettle leaf beetle that are also green and shiny in appearance. Like many other leaf beetle species, the tansy beetle population hibernates and goes into hibernation as soon as September hits. Hibernation only ends in April, marking the beginning of the breeding season. They are attracted to beds of tansies which are their favorite food plants. The tansy is a plant species in areas like Yorkshire that serves as a permanent food source to this beetle. However, the insect's distribution across various parts of Europe affects its food source. In France, the larvae are recorded to dwell on the Sneezewort, a tiny medicinal plant with white flowers. Similarly, in Russia, they are known to feed on various plants of the Artemisia genus, which are common mugworts.

Find these facts about the tansy beetle interesting? Check out some more fun facts articles on the atlas beetle and the stag beetle.

Tansy Beetle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a tansy beetle?

The tansy beetle (Chrysolina graminis) is a kind of insect. It is further classified as a leaf beetle. The leaf beetle is a species that feeds on leaves and is not to be confused with the leaf-footed beetle.

What class of animal does a tansy beetle belong to?

The tansy beetle belongs to the Insecta class of the animal kingdom, which is the class of insects and arthropods.

How many tansy beetles are there in the world?

The tansy beetle population is in immediate need of conservation as they have a limited distribution with a decline in number with each passing year. Although their population is low, it is difficult to obtain an exact count, but we are sure that their numbers have declined a lot over the past decade.

Where does a tansy beetle live?

The distribution of this ecological species ranges across the clustered regions of western Europe in the UK, France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Russia. In the UK, the primary location to spot them is north Yorkshire along the banks of the River Ouse near York, where the species is believed to have originated. As for other parts of Europe, they are present in Scandinavia and the Mediterranean Sea.

What is a tansy beetle’s habitat?

The tansy beetle habitat consists of open greens and wetlands. It prefers airy areas with adequate moisture. The river Ouse around York is one of the ideal habitats for them. During hibernation, they dig their burrow underground to hide away from the predators. Areas like cultivated farms are avoidable.

Who does the tansy beetle live with?

The tansy beetle lives with their own species in groups looking like a bunch. They are known to remain intact during hibernation as well as the breeding season. They are non-aggressive and non-territorial. They can be spotted with other beetles if they are visited by any other insects on their host plant.

How long does a tansy beetle live?

The tansy beetle lives for 10-15 days.

How do they reproduce?

They hibernate from October to April in a burrow underground. April is the onset of the breeding season for the adults. They might start breeding in March or post-April, and the season lasts until June. During the breeding season, they lay eggs on top of plants. Every breeding season, the female lays around 3-15 eggs which are elongated and yellow in color. Once the larvae are born, they start feeding on the same plant as their parents.

What is their conservation status?

The distribution of the tansy beetle population barely peaks out of the UK, and the tansy beetle conservation status is an alarming one. It is an Endangered species according to the IUCN. This beetle is now only commonly found around the banks of the Ouse River in York. In the UK, it is listed asa conservation priority species, which means that the preservation of the species and its habitat is the responsibility of the public authorities. As for other parts of Europe, they are either listed as Vulnerable or Endangered.

Tansy Beetle Fun Facts

What do tansy beetles look like?

The tansy beetle has an iridescent green color. It is extremely lustrous and attractive to look at. However, a few of its cousin species have the same color and texture, which might confuse you while identifying them. A way of distinguishing the tansy beetle from other leaf beetles is that the adults have a hint of reddish-orange on the edges of their underparts while other species have a yellow or black sheen. Nonetheless, they are tough to tell apart.

Tansy Beetle walking on a stone

How cute are they?

Undoubtedly, the tansy beetle has the most magnetic appearance. Their hypnotizing bright green color complimented by their tiny size makes them look like a jewel fallen from a necklace.

How do they communicate?

The tansy beetle communicates through chemical signals through which it attracts a mate as well.

How big is a tansy beetle?

The tansy beetle is extremely tiny. It is tinier than the average beetle and can easily fit the tip of your finger. If compared with the biggest beetle, the goliath beetle can fit the palm of your hand while the tansy beetle can't even fill the tip of your finger completely.

How fast can a tansy beetle move?

The tansy beetle is a flightless insect, and it can only move with its feet. Even so, they are slow insects that sense their background first. It takes them a while to move ahead.

How much does a tansy beetle weigh?

Since they are extremely tiny, it is difficult to determine their weight. It was so tiny that it is more than 10 times smaller than the goliath beetle, which weighs around 2.8–3.5 oz (80–100 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Both male and female adults are known by a common name tansy beetle (Chrysolina graminis)

What would you call a baby tansy beetle?

A baby tansy beetle does not have a specific name, but like other juvenile insects, they are called larvae. Another cute name for them could be baby beetle.

What do they eat?

The tansy beetle diet exclusively comprises perennial plants. Their diet does not vary a lot across different parts of the world, but the only food items for the UK variant are the food plants water mint and the tansy plant, which is scientifically known as the Tansy tanacetum vulgare. In other areas of Europe, they are known to consume mugworts.

Invasive species such as Himalayan balsam are affecting the growth of tansy plants. Tansy plants being endangered results in the species being endangered as the beetles are directly dependent on that particular plant for their survival. Apart from habitat loss, they suffer threats from predators due to their small size. They are an easy target for predators like birds, spiders, wasps, and moles that are difficult to escape.

Are they poisonous?

The Chrysolina graminis arenot poisonous insects themselves, however, the host plant they feed on is poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

Tansy beetle distribution is severely endangered. However, they are an attractive choice for being kept as pets. They need to be conserved in the best possible ways first. They must be left undisturbed in their natural habitat.

Did you know...

The tansy beetle is known as the jewel of York. There is a popular heritage site in York that has an impression of the beetle. It goes by the name of the tansy beetle mural, York, as part of the various number of measures to protect and promote conservation for the tansy beetle.

The tansy beetle survives on tansy plants (Tansy tanacetum vulgare) for a lifetime.

The River Ouse of York flows not too far from the world-renowned University of York.

The wings of tansy beetles were used as sequins by the Victorians.

The average female tansy beetle can lay up to 450 eggs in her lifetime.

After ICUN, the species has been listed as a priority species under the UKBAP  (UK Biodiversity Action Plan)

Tansy plants are listed as invasive species in the US.

How did the tansy beetle get its name?

The tansy plant is the source of life for the tansy beetle. They have an eternal relationship with these plants. A tansy beetle is certain to be born, thrive, and pass away on the same plant. Perennial plants are like a permanent home to the species, which gives them their name.

How is the tansy beetle different from other leaf beetles?

The tansy beetle is different from other leaf beetles with respect to their biology. Although they have wings, they are almost flightless because their wings are underdeveloped compared to most of their related species. They can fly, but the ability is negligible. They are known to commute only by walking. This biological difference probably persists because they haven't been receiving the right resources for their growth for a long time now. They are the only leaf beetle species that are a priority species in almost all their locations.

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 hister beetle facts and water beetle facts for kids.

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

Tansy Beetle Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) and water mint

What Type of Animal were they?

Omnivore

Average Litter Size?

9

How Much Did They Weigh?

N/A

What habitat Do they Live In?

wetland habitats, riverbanks, underground burrows

Where Do They Live?

North Yorkshire, france, russia

How Long Were They?

0.3-0.4 in (7.6–10.2 mm)

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Class

Insecta

Genus

Chrysolina

Family

Chrysomelidae

Scientific Name

Chrysolina graminis

What Do They Look Like?

Iridescent green and red

Skin Type

Exoskeleton

What Are Their Main Threats?

habitat loss, predators

What is their Conservation Status?

Endangered
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Written by Ritika Katariya

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Ritika Katariya picture

Ritika KatariyaBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A dedicated content writer and language enthusiast, Ritika holds a Bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from Fergusson College. With a keen interest in linguistics and literary adaptations, she has conducted extensive research in these domains. Beyond her academic pursuits, Ritika actively volunteers at her university, providing academic and on-campus assistance to fellow students.

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