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Striped Cucumber Beetle—Acalymma vittatum
Striped cucumber beetle adults feed on the foliage and stems of cucurbits all season long. They often girdle stems by gnawing on the tender shoots of seedlings; they later feed on the leaves, vines and fruits of plants that survive. Sometimes, deep pits are gnawed into the rind, making the produce unfit for consumption or market. Adult cucumber beetles harbor bacterial wilt organism (Pseudomonas lachrymans) in winter and transmit it during the growing season. They also help spread squash mosaic virus.
Larvae injure plants by feeding on roots and tunneling through stems, weakening the plant and making it susceptible to other problems. Striped cucumber beetles prefer cucumber, cantaloupes, winter squash, pumpkin, gourd, summer squash and watermelon but also feed on bean, pea, corn, and the blossoms of several wild and cultivated plants.
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[Photos, left to right: Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, Bugwood.org; Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org; Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org]
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