1. Gastrophysa viridula Degeer (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and the pathogenic rust fungus Uromyces rumicis (Schum.) Wint. both occur on leaves of Rumex crispus L. and R.obtusifolius L. Individual stages of beetle development, and egg laying, were compared on healthy and infected leaves of each plant species in the laboratory. Oviposition choice was investigated in the field and laboratory. 2. Beetles reared on infected leaves of each species had greater larval mortality and slower development than those reared on healthy leaves. Although larvae feeding on infected leaves consumed up to 2.5 times more dry weight than those reared on healthy leaves, they had a lower relative growth rate and pupated at a lower weight. These changes were consistent with the reduced nutritive quality of rust-infected Rumex leaves. 3. Fecundity of beetles reared on infected leaves of both species was considerably reduced. Eggs laid by beetles feeding on infected R.crispus leaves also had a reduced viability. 4. The beetle developed consistently poorer on healthy R.crispus than on healthy R.obtusifolius throughout its life-cycle. Differences in larval performance were greater between host species than between infected and healthy leaves. 5. Oviposition was similar on infected and healthy R.crispus in both the laboratory and field. However, adults consumed less, and laid fewer eggs on infected than on healthy R.obtusifolius. The pattern of egg laying on different aged leaves was affected by rust infection: a greater proportion of eggs was laid on the older, infected leaves, than on the equivalent aged leaves on the healthy plants. Few larvae survived from eggs laid on rusted leaves in the field.