Thursday, August 04, 2005
This is insect damage on a privet (ligustrum japonicum) hedge. The chewed leaves are limited to the lower 5 to 6 feet of the planting, and are spotted here and there with this example being about the worst of it.
There was no obvious culprit the days I checked. I found some tiny (2mm) round brown and tan beetles just standing around on the underside of some leaves. I don't think it's likely they could eat this much. There was a lone grasshopper trying out the taste of privet, but not only is their chewing pattern different, but there aren't enough of them to be responsible for this much damage.
Can't be leaf cutting bees because the cutouts aren't clean and round enough; these bees make almost perfect circular cuts in rose and other leaves. I'm thinking it's a beetle doing this damage, which is similar to what the eucalyptus leaf beetle or australian tortoise beetle does to eucalyptus leaves. And I'm thinking it's nocturnal. Must get new batteries for flashlight.