Phyllotreta vittula Redt. - Barley Flea Beetle.

Systematic position.

Class Insecta, order Coleoptera, family Chrysomelidae, genus Phyllotreta.

Biological group.

Pest of spring wheat and barley, and of winter wheat and rye to a lesser degree.

Morphology and biology.

Body length is 1.5-1.8 mm. Body weakly convex, elongated oval, dark green in color; elytron with wide light yellow band that slightly curves toward suture near apex. Head and pronotum with metallic green shine. First four segments of antennae are fulvous; base of tibia brownish. The pest is distinguished from other species living on Cruciferae and having similar color by punctated frons and light yellow band of elytra having straight inner margin and weakly emarginated outer margin. Male is somewhat smaller than female, with 1st segment of tarsus being widened. Adults appear on winter wheat in the end of March and the beginning of April and cause minimal damage. Adults migrate later to spring cereals, causing greater damage. Beetles eat parenchyma on upper side of leaves, leaving narrow bands. Mating occurs at the end of April and in May. Females lay eggs under the soil surface at a depth of 3 cm. Larvae feed on small roots of cereals. Body length of last instar larva is 3.5 mm; integument covered with sparse hairs; apex of last abdomen segment with spine. Pupation occurs in soil cradles; pupa development lasts 2 weeks. Adults of new generation appear at the beginning of July.


Trans-palearctic species; inhabits most parts of the former USSR eastward to Primorskii Territory. It is present in taiga and absent in subarctic territories and deserts.


Monovoltine; inhabits wild cereals everywhere. Flight begins at an average daily temperature of 5 degrees Celsius. Warm and dry conditions in summer are favorable for the pest; but prolonged and cold springs decrease population. Adults hibernate after additional feeding in forests, ravines, and forest belts.

Economic significance.

Damage is noticeable on seedlings of spring wheat; injury to about 75% of leaf surface causes death of plants. Damage increases after droughts. Lower damage occurs on oat, millet, maize, and beet. Harm from larvae has no economic significance.

Reference citations:

Dobrovol'skii B.V. 1951. Harmful beetles. Rostov-na-Donu: Rostizdat. 455 p. (In Russian)
Dubeshko L.N., Medvedev L.N. 1989. Ecology of leaf beetles of Siberia and the Far East. Irkutsk: Irkuts University. 224 p. (In Russian)
Kopaneva L.M., ed. 1980. Keys to harmful and useful insects and mites on grain plants in the USSR. Leningrad: Kolos. 335 p. (In Russian)
Kudrin A.P., Polyakova N.P. 1979. Methodical guidelines for forecast of distribution, harmfulness of the barley flea beetle and establishment of date for its control. Moscow: Minsel.khoz. 17 p. (In Russian)
Lopatin I.K. 1977. Leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae) of Middle Asia and Kazakhstan. Leningrad: Nauka. 289 p. (In Russian)
Lopatin I.K., Kulenova K.Z. 1986. Leaf beetles (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae) from Kazakhstan. Alma-Ata: Nauka. 199 p. (In Russian)
Palii V.F. 1961. Fauna of pest flea beetles of the USSR. Frunze: AN Kirgiz. SSR. 101 p. (In Russian)
Putele V. 1970. Fauna of flea beetles of Latvian SSR. In: Materials of 7th Baltic meeting on plant protection, Part 2. Pests of agricultural and forest plants and their control. Elgava: Latvian Ministry of Agriculture. 17-20 p. (In Russian)
Shapiro D.S. 1961. Fauna of flea beetles of the genus Phyllotreta Stephens of the European part of the USSR (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, subfam. Halticinae). Questions of genetics and zoology. Kharkov: Khar'kov GU. 82-107 p. (In Russian)
Shutak V.I. 1973. Numerous pest flea beetles of Bashkiria and Southern Ural region. Science for production (collection of works). Voronezh: Minsel.khoz. 85-88 p. (In Russian)
Slivkina K.A. 1982. Damage zones and conditions promoting development of barley flea beetle harm. Cereals protection against pests, diseases, and weeds in Northern Kazakhstan. Alma-Ata: VASKHNIL. 32-42 p. (In Russian)

© Davidyan G.E.


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