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The Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), also known as the Colorado beetle, the ten-striped spearman, the ten-lined potato beetle or the potato bug, is an important pest of potato crops, and native to southwestern North America. Adult beetles are approximately 10 mm long, with a bright yellow/orange body and five bold brown stripes along the length of each of its elytra (wing casing). This species can easily be confused with its close cousin and look-alike, the false potato beetle (Leptinotarsa juncta), which also eats solanaceous plants and can be found on the same host plant, but is not a serious pest. Both the adult and and reddish-brown larva of L. decemlineata feed on leaves and their high rate of feeding causes significant damage to potato, tomato and eggplant foliage, frequently decimating crops. In addition to being very fecund (females lay up to 800 eggs, and they can undergo multiple overlapping generations a year) they have also proved extremely effective in developing resistance to many pesticides. The Colorado potato beetle successfully invaded Europe in 1922 and since has become established Europe and Asia. A pretty beetle, it has been featured on postal stamps of several countries (even where it is not a significant pest): Mozambique, United Arab Emirates, Austria, the Republic of Benin and Tanzania.

(Alyokhin 2008; CABI 2011; Jacques and Fasulo 2009; Wikipedia 2011a; Wikipedia 2011b)


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