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The conspicuous Pigweed Flea Beetle is drawn to amaranth and can be found among the weedy plants in fields, meadows and gardens.
Pigweed Flea Beetle Videos
A Pigweed Flea Beetle taking a walk
The Pigweed Flea Beetle has a red and black head. The red, shield-like pronotum has a black dot in the center, or three black dots, depending on the individual. The black elytra (wing coverings) have four yellow lines on them; two on the left connect at the bottom, just like the two on the right. Antennae are black, and legs are red and black. Other members of the same genus have a similar appearance, but the width, color, and number of the lines on the elytra differ between them.
This species feeds on types of plants in the amaranth family, which may also be called pigweeds because they were - and still are - used to feed pigs. The Pigweed Flea Beetle is active from late spring through autumn and is not a significant pest in a backyard garden.
Scientific Name: Disonycha glabrata
Size (Adult; Length): 3mm to 7mm (0.12in to 0.27in)
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Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.