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Spotted Cucumber Beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi)


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



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The chartreuse Spotted Cucumber Beetle eats more than just its cucumbers, making it a very destructive force in the vegetable patch.



Updated: 07/15/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Despite its neat appearance, the Spotted Cucumber Beetle is a bane to anyone trying to grow food. Both adults and larvae of this species feed on a variety of food plants commonly grown at home. The grubs chew up the roots of cucumbers, beans, melons, squash, and pumpkins. In addition to these vegetables, they also feast of the roots of grasses including corn. For this reason, they may also be called Southern Corn Rootworms. Adult beetles eat the foliage, tender seedlings, and fruit on the plants that survive larval attacks. In addition to those plants in the Cucumber Family that are loved by offspring, adults also attack peas and flowers.

This beetle is active in spring and all summer long - there is always something they like in season. They can be found in meadows, fields, farms, orchards and, of course, backyard gardens. Adults can survive winters in the southern states and Mexico, leading to possibly three generations in one year. They are able to migrate north once the warmer weather arrives and can quickly infest an area.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Harmful insect icon
Patterned insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Chrysomelidae
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          Genus: Diabrotica
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            Species: undecimpunctata howardi
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi
Other Name(s): Southern Corn Rootworm
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 6mm to 7mm (0.23" to 0.27")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: yellow, black, green
Descriptors: flying, harmful, spotted

Spotted-Cucumber-Beetle Video(s)




A Spotted Cucumber Beetle conducting an orchestra.
A Spotted Cucumber Beetle realizing it went the wrong way.
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 6mm (0.2in) and 7mm (0.3in)
Lo: 6mm
Md: 6.5mm
Hi: 7mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Spotted Cucumber 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 Spotted Cucumber Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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