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Striped Flea Beetle (Phyllotreta striolata)

The striped flea beetle is a member of the leaf beetle family. It is known for being a pest of Brassica plants, mainly cabbage.

Striped Flea Beetle

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Chrysomelidae
  • Genus: Phyllotreta
  • Scientific name: Phyllotreta striolata

Physical Description and Identification

Adult 

Size: 1.5 to 2.5 mm

Color: They are shiny black with a touch of green and wavy amber lines on their elytra.

Other Characteristic Features: These beetles have thick and strong hind legs helping them jump as fast as a flea when provoked or disturbed.

Phyllotreta striolata

Larva

They are white with brown heads, measuring about 3.2 to 5.0 mm. There are three pairs of small legs close to its head. For about 3-4 weeks, the larvae will feed on the roots of the host plant.

Pupa

Pupae are white and 2-4 mm long, resembling adults in shape and size. Pupation takes place incol3 an earthen cell, the entire phase lasting for 7-10 days.

Egg

Females lay eggs near the host plant on the surface of the soil. The eggs are white, shaped like elongated ovals.

Quick Facts

LifespanNot recorded
DistributionNative: Eurasia Invasive: The United States, particularly the eastern and Pacific areas, South Africa
HabitatFields
Seasons activeLate Spring to early Summer
PredatorsBraconid wasps, nematodes
Host plantsCabbage and mustard plants
Diet of adultsLeaves and cotyledons of host plants
Image of Striped Flea Beetle

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

While the larvae are known to feed on the host plant’s roots, minimal damage is caused by them.  The adult beetles do the most harm, making a small round hole in the leaves and cotyledons of young plants using their chewing mouthparts. This takes a toll on the whole plant, and as it grows the thin tissues eventually die and shed off leading to shot holes in the leaves.

Striped Flea Beetle Damage

Did You Know

  • Danish zoologist Johan Christian Fabricius first described this species in 1801.
Striped Flea Beetle Picture

Image Source: static.inaturalist.org, bugguide.net, canolacouncil.org, objects.liquidweb.services

The striped flea beetle is a member of the leaf beetle family. It is known for being a pest of Brassica plants, mainly cabbage.

Striped Flea Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult 

Size: 1.5 to 2.5 mm

Color: They are shiny black with a touch of green and wavy amber lines on their elytra.

Other Characteristic Features: These beetles have thick and strong hind legs helping them jump as fast as a flea when provoked or disturbed.

Phyllotreta striolata

Larva

They are white with brown heads, measuring about 3.2 to 5.0 mm. There are three pairs of small legs close to its head. For about 3-4 weeks, the larvae will feed on the roots of the host plant.

Pupa

Pupae are white and 2-4 mm long, resembling adults in shape and size. Pupation takes place incol3 an earthen cell, the entire phase lasting for 7-10 days.

Egg

Females lay eggs near the host plant on the surface of the soil. The eggs are white, shaped like elongated ovals.

Quick Facts

LifespanNot recorded
DistributionNative: Eurasia Invasive: The United States, particularly the eastern and Pacific areas, South Africa
HabitatFields
Seasons activeLate Spring to early Summer
PredatorsBraconid wasps, nematodes
Host plantsCabbage and mustard plants
Diet of adultsLeaves and cotyledons of host plants
Image of Striped Flea Beetle

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

While the larvae are known to feed on the host plant’s roots, minimal damage is caused by them.  The adult beetles do the most harm, making a small round hole in the leaves and cotyledons of young plants using their chewing mouthparts. This takes a toll on the whole plant, and as it grows the thin tissues eventually die and shed off leading to shot holes in the leaves.

Striped Flea Beetle Damage

Did You Know

  • Danish zoologist Johan Christian Fabricius first described this species in 1801.
Striped Flea Beetle Picture

Image Source: static.inaturalist.org, bugguide.net, canolacouncil.org, objects.liquidweb.services

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