Lema Melanopus

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lema Melanopus


a leaf beetle of the family Chrysomeli-dae. The body, which reaches 4 mm in length, is oblong-oval and greenish blue with a metallic luster. The thorax, femurs, and tibias are yellow-red, and the antennae and tarsi are black. The larvae have a clearly defined head and three pairs of legs. They are wrinkled, thickened in the posterior section, yellowish in color, and covered with a brown slime.

L. melanopus is common in Europe, the nontropical sections of Asia, and North Africa. It is found throughout the USSR except for the northernmost regions. The beetle produces one generation a year. Adult beetles who survive the winter and, later, their larvae seriously damage the shoots of barley, oats, and wheat. The insects do minor damage to corn shoots. L. Melanopus gnaws lengthwise strips on the leaves, reducing the grain harvest by 30–50 percent.

Measures to combat the insect include treating the crops with insecticides (during peaks in the population of beetles and larvae) and planting varieties of soft wheat and oats with downy leaves that are less susceptible to damage.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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