Thursday, June 21, 2007

Flea Beetles On Broccoli

Striped flea beetle on broccoli seedling

Earlier this month, I posted a photo of the Garden Flea Hopper, a tiny mirid that attacks seedlings of all sorts. Today's photo shows a flea beetle (probably the striped flea beetle mentioned below), which is also tiny, also hops, and also damages seedlings in the garden. Some years, these critters kill off my tomato and cabbage seedlings as soon as I set them out, but this year, they haven't been so bad, and now, their season is just about over. Here are a few flea beetle links.

  • Flea Beetle information from Penn State
  • Colorado State Flea Beetle Fact Sheet
  • Kansas State Research and Extension

    Description: "Flea beetle" is a generic name applied to many species of small jumping beetles commonly seen early in the gardening season. Some species are general feeders while others have a more restricted host range. All flea beetle life stages are completed underground. Only the adults are commonly seen by gardeners and vegetable producers.

    Flea beetles may be somewhat elongate to oval in shape, and vary in color, pattern, and size. For instance, potato flea beetles (Epitrix cucumeris) tend to be more oval, blackish, and about 1/16 inch long.

    Striped flea beetles (Phyllotreta striolata) are more elongate and dark with yellowish crooked stripes, and measure about 1/12 inch long.


Larry said...

Nice shot, Rebecca! I've dealt with these in the garden but have never seen one up close.

Rebecca Clayton said...

Thanks, Larry--It was just luck that I got one in-focus photo (out of a dozen I shot) . At this size, they're just little dots.