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The conspicuous Pigweed Flea Beetle is loves amaranth and is 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 elytra (wing coverings) are shiny black. The elytra have two yellow lines on them which become a thin yellow border line. Each yellow line runs down the one side of the midline to the bottom edge of the covering, and then turns upward to create an unbroken, thin yellow border line on the outer edge. Antennae are black, and legs are red and black. Other members of the same genus have a similar appearance, but the width, color, and numbers of the lines on the elytra differ.
This species feeds on types of plants in the amaranth family, which may also be called pigweeds because they were and still are sometimes 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.