General

The Colorado beetle - Wanted poster


Characteristics

Surname: Colorado beetle
Other namesPhotos: Colorado beetle
Latin name: Leptinotarsa ​​decemlineata
class: Insects
size: about 15mm
mass: ?
Older: up to 2 years
Appearance: yellow-orange tank with black stripes
Sexual dimorphism: No
Nutrition type: Herbivore (herbivor)
food: Potato plant
distribution: worldwide
original originPhotos: Colorado (USA)
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: Potato fields
natural enemies: /
sexual maturity: ?
mating season: May June
oviposition: up to 2000 eggs
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting facts about the Colorado beetle

  • The Colorado beetle, or Leptinotarsa ​​decemlineata, describes a type of leaf beetle that originated in the US state of Colorado and spread to other regions of the United States, as well as Europe and much of Asia by introduction in the 19th century.
  • Since the Colorado beetle - as its name suggests - feeds on the potato plant, it is considered a cultural pest. At regular intervals, the infestation of potato beetles and their larvae leads to the systematic destruction of entire fields.
  • Since the Colorado beetle and its larvae in Europe know no natural predators, an infestation within a very short time becomes a difficult to control plague. In his homeland, however, he serves as a source of food for various species of birds and other beetles.
  • Particularly problematic for agriculture are the larvae, which are true eating machines at this stage of development and remain on the plant until only the tuber is left.
  • His original food consisted of plant parts of the sting nightshade. The fact that the beetle has gone over to potato plants has to do with the colonization of America by Europeans.
  • In addition to potato plants, potato beetles are also used by other agriculturally cultivated nightshade plants such as tomatoes, peppers or eggplants, as well as tobacco plants as an important food source.
  • Despite its bad reputation, the Colorado beetle is also known for its eye-catching appearance.
  • His yellow to orange-colored neck plate is covered with black dots, his bright yellow carapace shows on each side five longitudinal stripes, which also appear black. Hence his Latin name, because decemlineata translates as "with ten lines".
  • Its striking color protects the Colorado beetle from being eaten, as yellows and reds are classified as toxic and inedible in the animal kingdom.
  • Colorado beetles reach a body length of only one and a half centimeters and have six thin legs, with which they can move slowly. From one potato field to the next they move as excellent flyers.
  • The females lay the yellow eggs in packets of up to eighty pieces at the bottom of the potato leaves. The red-colored and black-spotted larvae are fast-growing and pupate after about three weeks in the ground. There also overwinter the adult beetles.
  • Colorado beetles are around two years old and can reproduce up to three times a year. One female lays about 25,000 of the yellow eggs per season.
  • Plagues can usually only be controlled with chemical insecticides, which also kills other beneficial insects. There are now also efficient biological methods of combating beetles with fungi or bacteria.