Home / Leaf Beetles (Chrysomelidae) / Pigweed Flea Beetle (Disonycha glabrata)

Pigweed Flea Beetle (Disonycha glabrata)

The pigweed flea beetle is a common pest found in US farms, primarily known for attacking amaranth plants. However, it is also helpful as it keeps the population of pigweed plants down.

Pigweed Flea Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 3 to 7mm (0.11 to 0.27 in)

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Chrysomelidae
  • Genus: Disonycha
  • Scientific name: Disonycha glabrata

Color: Their legs and antennae appear entirely black, while the head is a combination of black and red. The elytra are also black intersected with yellowish-white lines on both sides, while the pronotum is red marked with a black dot at the center.

Other Characteristic Features: Overall, they have a striped, and banded appearance,

Pigweed Flea Beetle Picture

Larva

The rough-skinned larvae have a grayish-white body, marked with fleshy tubercles with a black tuft of hair on top. They go through a three-instar stage.

Pigweed Flea Beetle Larvae

Pupa

They take the larva’s grayish-white body, measuring about 0.35 mm. The pupation phase lasts for about 13 days, after which they mature into adults.

Egg

The cylindrical-shaped eggs are 1mm by 0.5mm, laid in clusters. Their color ranges between pale yellow and orange, with the ends appearing clear.

Quick facts

Lifespan28 days
DistributionMost of the US and Canada; also spotted in Mexico
HabitatAgricultural areas
PredatorsBirds
Seasons activeEarly April to early July
Host plantsAmaranth, pigweeds, beets, spinach, and swiss chard
Diet of adultsSame as larva

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

The adult beetles chew the leaves, making small, round holes. Larva also feed on foliage causing significant damage. Continuous infestation could result in distorted growth in the leaves, hampering the plant’s overall development.

Did you know

  • They are able to “hop” around thanks to their strong hind legs.
Images of Pigweed Flea Beetle
Disonycha glabrata

Image Source: lh3.ggpht.com, budsbugs.files.wordpress.com, live.staticflickr.com, objects.liquidweb.services

The pigweed flea beetle is a common pest found in US farms, primarily known for attacking amaranth plants. However, it is also helpful as it keeps the population of pigweed plants down.

Pigweed Flea Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 3 to 7mm (0.11 to 0.27 in)

Color: Their legs and antennae appear entirely black, while the head is a combination of black and red. The elytra are also black intersected with yellowish-white lines on both sides, while the pronotum is red marked with a black dot at the center.

Other Characteristic Features: Overall, they have a striped, and banded appearance,

Pigweed Flea Beetle Picture

Larva

The rough-skinned larvae have a grayish-white body, marked with fleshy tubercles with a black tuft of hair on top. They go through a three-instar stage.

Pigweed Flea Beetle Larvae

Pupa

They take the larva’s grayish-white body, measuring about 0.35 mm. The pupation phase lasts for about 13 days, after which they mature into adults.

Egg

The cylindrical-shaped eggs are 1mm by 0.5mm, laid in clusters. Their color ranges between pale yellow and orange, with the ends appearing clear.

Quick facts

Lifespan28 days
DistributionMost of the US and Canada; also spotted in Mexico
HabitatAgricultural areas
PredatorsBirds
Seasons activeEarly April to early July
Host plantsAmaranth, pigweeds, beets, spinach, and swiss chard
Diet of adultsSame as larva

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

The adult beetles chew the leaves, making small, round holes. Larva also feed on foliage causing significant damage. Continuous infestation could result in distorted growth in the leaves, hampering the plant’s overall development.

Did you know

  • They are able to “hop” around thanks to their strong hind legs.
Images of Pigweed Flea Beetle
Disonycha glabrata

Image Source: lh3.ggpht.com, budsbugs.files.wordpress.com, live.staticflickr.com, objects.liquidweb.services

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