flea beetle

flea beetle
any leaf beetle of the genera Haltica, Epitrix, etc., the various species of which have the rear legs adapted for jumping.

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Any member of the beetle subfamily Alticinae (family Chrysomelidae), found worldwide.

It is tiny (less than 0.25 in. [6 mm] long) and dark or metallic in colour. The enlarged hind legs are adapted for jumping. Flea beetles are important pests of cultivated plants (e.g., grapes, cucumbers, melons, tobacco, potatoes, and tomatoes). The adults feed on the leaves, the larvae on the roots. Some flea beetles carry plant diseases (e.g., early potato blight).

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 any member of the insect subfamily Alticinae (Halticinae) belonging to the leaf beetle family Chrysomelidae (order Coleoptera). These tiny beetles, worldwide in distribution, are usually less than 6 mm (0.25 inch) in length and dark or metallic in colour. The enlarged hindlegs are adapted for jumping. Flea beetles are important pests of cultivated plants: the adults feed on the leaves and the larvae on the roots. Some flea beetles carry plant diseases (e.g., early potato blight).

      The grape flea beetle (Altica chalybea), 4 to 5 mm (0.16 to 0.2 inch) long and dark steel-blue in colour, eats grape buds in early spring; both the adults and larvae feed on grape leaves in the summer. They can be controlled by spraying an arsenical poison on the grape leaves.

      The striped flea beetle (Phyllotreta striolata) infests cabbage and similar plants. The cucumber beetle (Epitrix cucumeris) feeds on cucumbers and melon vines, E. hirtipennis attacks tobacco plants, and E. fuscula eats tomatoes and potatoes. The flea beetle Aphthona flava has been released in the United States and Canada as a biological control for the weed leafy spurge.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Flea-beetle — Flea bee tle, n. (Zo[ o]l.) A small beetle of the family {Halticid[ae]}, of many species. They have strong posterior legs and leap like fleas. The turnip flea beetle ({Phyllotreta vittata}) and that of the grapevine ({Graptodera chalybea}) are… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • flea-beetle — fleaˈ beetle noun A jumping beetle that infests various vegetables, eg turnips and cabbages • • • Main Entry: ↑flea …   Useful english dictionary

  • flea beetle — n. any of a number of small jumping beetles (family Chrysomelidae) that feed chiefly on leaves and shoots of plants …   English World dictionary

  • Flea beetle — Taxobox name = Flea beetles image width = 240px image caption = Phyllotreta vittula with characteristic feeding damage to Brassicaceae leaf regnum = Animalia phylum = Arthropoda subphylum = Hexapoda classis = Insecta subclassis = Pterygota… …   Wikipedia

  • flea beetle — flea′ bee tle n. ent any of numerous tiny leaf beetles of the subfamily Alticinae, having enlarged hind legs adapted for jumping • Etymology: 1835–45 …   From formal English to slang

  • flea beetle — noun any small leaf beetle having enlarged hind legs and capable of jumping • Hypernyms: ↑leaf beetle, ↑chrysomelid …   Useful english dictionary

  • flea beetle — noun a small jumping leaf beetle that can be a pest of plants such as crucifers. [Phyllotreta and other genera.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • flea beetle — noun Date: 1842 any of a subfamily (Alticinae, especially genera Alticia and Epitrix) of small chrysomelid beetles with legs adapted for leaping that feed on foliage and include some that are agricultural pests …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • flea-beetle — /ˈfli bitl/ (say flee beetl) noun any of certain leaf beetles, noted for their ability to leap …   Australian English dictionary

  • Striped flea beetle — Taxobox name = striped flea beetle image width = 250px image caption = regnum = Animalia phylum = Arthropoda classis = Insecta ordo = Coleoptera familia = Chrysomelidae subfamilia = Galerucinae tribus = Alticini genus = Phyllotreta species = P.… …   Wikipedia

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