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Striped Cucumber Beetle (Acalymma vittatum)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Striped Cucumber Beetle.

 Updated: 8/2/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The small, bright Striped Cucumber Beetle is a common garden insect that feeds on more than just the leaves of its namesake.



A member of the Leaf Beetle family, Striped Cucumber Beetles feed on the soft leafy foliage of garden plants. Despite their name, they do not restrict themselves to cucumber plants. Zucchini and squash varieties, melons, and gourds are equally tasty. A few beetles are not harmful to vegetable production and backyard gardens can still obtain good harvests despite the small presence of the insect. The likelihood of the population growing rapidly is great, however, and large numbers of the Striped Cucumber Beetle can damage both foliage and fruit of food plants. They may also transmit the vector for bacterial wilt, a disease that decimates cucumber plants and their relatives.

Strategies for removing a Striped Cucumber Beetle problem are numerous. Pesticides application can protect the plant and prevent future outbreaks. Organic pest control options include delayed planting, covering plants with row covers that allow light and rain, use of sticky kaolin clay, planting of trap or decoy crops, and manual removal. Yellow sticky traps, like those used to catch house flies, are also available at garden supply stores. Removing plants infected with bacterial wilt down to the roots will help control the spread of that disease to other healthy plants.

Adults will overwinter in sheltered areas like buildings, or wood piles. Once weather begins to warm in the spring, they are quick to locate food sources. Females lay fertilized eggs at the base of the plant at the soil line. Eggs hatch and the larvae eat the roots of the plant, pupate underground and emerge as adults in late summer/early autumn.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Chrysomelidae
          Genus: Acalymma
            Species: vittatum
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Acalymma vittatum
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 8mm (0.20in to 0.31in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: yellow, black, orange
Descriptors: lines, zucchini, squash, flying, chewing
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
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
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
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).
3
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.