This is a picture of the actual Curly Dock (Rumex crispus) plant. If you look closely you can see many of these very tiny beetles on the leaves. Curly Dock is a perennial closely related to buckwheat. It can grow up to five feet tall. This weed prefers moist environments, such as near our pond. It is commonly found near wetlands, hayfields, pastures and some agricultural crops. Curly dock does not survive well during drought years, which explains why we have it such large quantities, this past year as been extremely wet.
(Female, notice the engorged abdomen?)
(Eggs)The munching habits of the adults, and later the larvae is enough to keep the Curly Dock in check, and to control the continued spreading of what many people consider a noxious weed.
(The larvae, newly hatched and very tiny, approximately 1/10 of an inch)
I am amazed that as long as I've lived here (20 years) this is the first I've ever spotted these beetles. Each year it seems I find something new crawling around on 6 legs.