The introduced flea beetles Phyllotreta cruciferae and Phyllotreta striolata are major pests of Brassicas. Currently, little is known about the ecology of these beetles in New England. In 2002 and 2003, we studied flea beetle ecology in and around vegetable farms in Massachusetts. Two to three weeks after adult beetles emerge from overwintering in the spring, egg development begins. Four to five weeks after emergence, eggs are laid in the soil at the base of host plants. Weekly soil samples from the roots of the host plants revealed patterns of egg-laying and the development of the immature stages of the flea beetles in the field on two different brassica species, B. oleraceae and B. rapa. Throughout the season, the intensity of flea beetle feeding changed, with feeding peaks in June and in August.
Species 1: Coleoptera Chrysomelidae Phyllotreta cruciferae (crucifer flea beetle)
Species 2: Coleoptera Chrysomelidae Phyllotreta striolata (striped flea beetle)
Species 3: Capparales Brassicaceae Brassica
Keywords: larval development
Back to Student Competition Ten-Minute Papers, Cd2, Behavior and Ecology
Back to Student Competition TMP Orals
Back to The 2003 ESA Annual Meeting and Exhibition