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False Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa juncta)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the False Potato Beetle.

 Updated: 5/21/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The False Potato Beetle has yellow or white stripes, likes other potato beetles, but it likes more than just potatoes.



The False Potato Beetle looks a lot like the Colorado Potato Beetle. The False Potato Beetle has a brown mid-line between its two wing coverings where the Colorado relative is black. Each elytron, or wing covering, has five black stripes. Between the black stripes are two yellow or white stripes, then a brown stripe, and a last yellow stripe on the outer edge. The brown pronotum has two prominent black dashes on it, which are surrounded by smaller black dots. More black spots appear on the head and face. Legs are orange. Antennae are black with orange hues.

While potatoes seem an obvious food plant, this species is particularly fond of horse nettle. Indeed, it feeds on potato plants, too, but it can expand its dietary options to include ground cherries and bittersweet. Despite its relation to the destructive Colorado Potato Beetle, this species is not considered a significant pest.
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Chrysomelidae
          Genus: Leptinotarsa
            Species: juncta
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Leptinotarsa juncta
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 9mm to 11mm (0.35in to 0.43in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, yellow, orange, white
Descriptors: five stripes, lines, round, spotted, flying, two yellow stripes, brown stripe, black dashes
Territorial Map
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
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Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.


Beetle Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American Beetle insect
1
Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
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Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
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Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
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Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
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Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
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Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.