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Pigweed Flea Beetle (Disonycha glabrata)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Pigweed Flea Beetle

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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.

Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.

Known Diet of the Pigweed-Flea-Beetle


General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Patterned insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Chrysomelidae
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          Genus: Disonycha
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            Species: glabrata
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Disonycha glabrata
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 3mm to 7mm (0.11" to 0.27")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, yellow, red
Descriptors: two-lined, striped, border, wings, dot, armor, flying

Pigweed-Flea-Beetle Video(s)

A Pigweed Flea Beetle taking a walk.

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 3mm (0.1in) and 7mm (0.3in)
Lo: 3mm
Md: 5mm
Hi: 7mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Pigweed Flea Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Pigweed Flea Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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