Flea Beetles

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Flea Beetles


(subfamily Halticinea), beetles of the family Chrysomelidae. The body is 1.5–5 mm long; the antennae are beaded, and the hind legs are saltatory, with thickened femurs and elongated tibiae. Approximately 5,000 species are known throughout the world; in the USSR there are about 400 species. All flea beetles are herbivorous. The majority of species develop in one generation; in the south some species take two or three generations. The beetles (in some flea beetles, the larvae or eggs) hibernate primarily in the soil or under plant remains. In the spring, when the surface of the soil heats up to 10°-12°C, they revive, and when the temperature rises further they make small migrations, concentrating on the shoots of food plants. The most favorable weather for the beetles is clear and not very windy, with a temperature of 22°–26° C. The beetles gnaw small round or oval holes in the leaves, destroying the growing point; on trees and shrubs they skeletonize the leaves. Flea beetles deposit their eggs primarily in the soil, more rarely in or on a plant. The larvae live mainly in the soil, feeding on roots; sometimes they live within stems or openly on the plant.

In the USSR, 129 species of harmful flea beetles are known, which damage many crops. Much damage is done to Cruciferae crops (cabbage, garden radish, and black radish) by the striped turnip, striped steppe, large striped, cabbage, common turnip, turnip, and bronze turnip (Phyllotreta fucata Wse.) flea beetles; beets are damaged by the mangold, the western (Chaetocnema tibialis III.) and southern (Chaetocnema breviuscula Fald.) mangold and the root-and-fruit (Psylliodes cupreata Duft.) flea beetles; flax is attacked by the large flax flea beetle (Aphthona euphorbiae Schrank) and the black flax skipper; and cereal crops are damaged by large stem (Chaetocnema aridula Gyll.), common stem (Chaetocnema hortensis Geoffr.), millet, and barley flea beetles, among others. The hop flea beetle is a dangerous pest to hemp and hops; the potato flea beetle damages potatoes and tomatoes.

Methods of control include destruction of weeds, which serve as the basic food plants for the majority of flea beetles; early sowing (late sowing in some cases); and treatment of the crops with insecticides.


Palii, V. F. Fauna vrednykh zemlianykh bloshek SSSR. Frunze, 1961.
Palii, V. F. Rasprostranenie, ekologiia i biologiia zemlianikh bloshek fauny SSSR. Frunze, 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In 2013 sweep samples for flea beetles were taken in the plots weekly from May to September.
(2001) Male-specific sesquiterpenes from Phyllotreta and Aphthona flea beetles. J.
The flea beetle, Lysathia flavipes, that attacks Ludwigia (water primrose) and Myriophyllum (parrotfeather) in Argentina.
The most successful sowing in the trial was the earliest sowing of the large-leaved Red Giant, as later sowings suffered from flea beetle damage.
What's the best way to control the pests that my neighbour tells me are "flea beetles"?
Infestations of leafy spurge can be controlled by goats, biological control (Aphthona flea beetles), or pesticides.
Last summer's excessively dry weather prevented the collection of reliable results, while this year found two of the test sites plagued with an onset of flea beetles that devoured the germinating canola.
Bad bugs: Beetles Crime: Flea beetles in particular love broccoli, making machine- gun style holes in leaves Battle tool: Grease a board and move it over the top of the beetles that jump like fleas, hit the board and die.: The Goodies:Champion peckers: Blue tits Good work: Clean up all the rotten creepy crawlies before they can demolish your plants and vegetables Sterling snail-hammerer: Song thrush Pecking the decking: When you hear a 'whack, whack,' on your patio, it's probably a song thrush making sure you have one less snail to worry about
The peas have been dismal, and my first lot of brassica seedlings sat and sulked till the flea beetles finished most of them off.
Second, we wanted to widen the brand message beyond flea beetles to include greater emphasis on disease control, improved stand establishment and yield potential."
Flea beetles have proved a good biological tool for controlling leafy spurge in the park's remote areas.
Turnip crops are attacked by two different flea beetles, which eat holes in the cotyledons and first leaves, chew stems and cause extensive plant loss.