Most recently reviewed by: David Kerns (2018)
Common Name(s): Banded Cucumber Beetle
Adults are 1/5 to 1/4 inch long. They are light green with 4 broken yellow bands across the back (elytra). The bands vary among insects and are sometimes barely visible. The head, antennae and distal leg segments are reddish brown. They can be found on plants feeding on leaves and flower parts.
The larvae range from 1/10 to 1/3 inch and are off-white, cream colored or pale yellow with dark brown heads and anal plates. They are found below ground feeding on plant crowns and roots.
Origin and Distribution
Banded cucumber beetles are believed to have originated in tropical areas of the new world. It can currently be found in the southern states from California to Florida and North Carolina. Tropically adapted, it is not likely to be able to survive farther north in the United States.
Habitat & Hosts
Besides the crops listed above banded cucumber beetle feeds on a number of other host plants. It is reported to feed on gourd, amaranth, crownbeard, silverleaf nightshade and mulberry.
Adults emerge and begin mating within about 6 days. Eggs are laid about 16 days after mating. Egg laying continues for two to eight weeks. Eggs are laid in clusters of about 100 eggs each and females produce two to 15 egg clusters – up to 850 eggs per female. Adults live an average of 26 days (range: 17 to 44 days). Eggs are pale yellow, oval, 0.6 mm in length and 0.35 mm in width. They are laid in cracks in the soil and hatch in five to nine days.
There are three larval stages. The larvae are worm-like, and cream colored with brown heads and anal plates. They range in length from 0.1 to 0.35 inches. Larvae complete development in 11-17 days. Larvae pupate in the soil, resting there for four to six days.
Banded cucumber beetles can produce six to seven generations per year. The species is not reported to go into winter diapause.
ManagementIf you live in the State of Texas, contact your local county agent or entomologist for management information. If you live outside of Texas, contact your local extension for management options.
Soil and seed applied insecticides have been used to control the destructive larval stage in crops. Foliar insecticides are sometimes needed to control adult beetles. Weed control can help reduce damage to seedling crops.
CABI. 2006. Distribution Maps of Plant Pests. CABI Wallingford, UK. Map 681.
Chittenden FH. 1912. Notes on the cucumber beetles. USDA Bureau of Entomology Bulletin 82: 67-75.
Marsh HO. 1912. Biologic notes on some species of Diabrotica in southern Texas. USDA Bureau of Entomology Bulletin 82: 76-84.
Pitre Jr HN, Kantack EJ. 1962. Biology of the banded cucumber beetle, Diabrotica balteata, in Louisiana. Journal of Economic Entomology 55: 904-906.
Saba F. 1970. Host plant spectrum and temperature limitations of Diabrotica balteata. Canadian Entomologist 102: 684-691.