Colorado potato beetle

From Academic Kids

Colorado potato beetle

Scientific classification
Species:L. decemlineata
Binomial name
Leptinotarsa decemlineata

The Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata, Chrysomelidae) has also been known as the Colorado beetle, Ten-striped spearman and the Ten-lined potato beetle. It is approximately 10 mm (0.4 inches) long, with a bright yellow/orange body and bold brown stripes across the length of its wing covers. Despite its name, this beetle is not native to Colorado, probably originating in central Mexico.


Life cycle

Missing image
Colorado potato beetle larvae in Hemingway, South Carolina

It can lay up to 800 eggs at a time, up to three times per year. The eggs are usually deposited on the leaves of potato plants and other related plants in the genus Solanum. After 4-15 days, they hatch into reddish-brown larvae with humped backs and two rows of dark brown spots on either side, which feed on the leaves. Larvae drop to the soil and burrow to a depth of several inches, where they emerge in the spring as adults after two weeks of pupation. They return to their host plant to mate and feed, hence their unpopularity with potato farmers.

As a crop pest

The Colorado beetle is a serious crop pest of potatoes. Insecticides are often used unsuccessfully against Leptinotarsa because of the beetle's resistance to toxins and ability to rapidly develop immunity to them. In the United Kingdom, where the Colorado beetle is a rare visitor on imported farm produce, it is a notifiable pest; any found must be reported to DEFRA.

In Europe

In 1877 the Colorado beetle reached Europe. It spread over much of the continent. During World War II the Nazi regimen in Germany used them for propaganda, claiming that the beetles had been dropped by the U.S. Air Force. The Americans were also blamed by regimen propaganda when after World War II in the Soviet occupation zone of Germany almost half of all potato fields were infested by the beetle by 1950.

External links


de:Kartoffelkäfer fr:Doryphore nl:Coloradokever pl:Stonka ziemniaczana sk:Pásavka zemiaková


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