beetles of the family Chrysomelidae that destroy Cruciferae crops. Body length, 4–7 mm; coloration, dark blue or greenish blue. The three most destructive genera are the western mustard beetles (Colaphellus sophiae), found chiefly in Central Europe; the eastern (C. höfti), found in southern and eastern parts of the European sections of the USSR, the Caucasus, southern West Siberia, and the Near and Middle East; and the Siberian (C. alpinus), found in Eastern Siberia and Mongolia.
There is one generation annually. The beetles winter in the upper soil layer. In the spring they eat the weeds of wild and domestic Cruciferae. They lay 10–20 eggs in clusters (up to a total of 300) on plants and under lumps of soil. The larvae eat leaves, buds, and flowers, often causing complete crop failure. Then they form pupae in the soil.
Countermeasures against the mustard beetle are early fall plowing, weed control, and treatment of crops with insecticides.
REFERENCESSakharov, N. L. Vrediteli gorchitsy i bor’ba s nimi. [Saratov] 1934.
Labuzina, A. G. Metodicheskie ukazaniiapo zashchite posevov gorchitsy ot vreditelei. Leningrad, 1954.
V. D. VODOLAGIN