The white-fringed beetle


Material Information

The white-fringed beetle
Physical Description:
Padget, L. J
Littig, K. S
United States -- Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine
United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine (Washington, D.C )
Publication Date:

Record Information

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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 30271528
oclc - 778788010
System ID:

Full Text

E-p05 u y 9h0

Gulfeot P ti ne

The htfrredb &f hi U-
tybi of Ena ogy xF h on
for idert fjLqato'n t h auum I- ~ 193 T!i rs~ a~be
pot.te'd i ot On Pa a i t- S itithod
of itrouef~ ~nr t eth ej Co~c r~o iet
Th hite-F r e h o ~ ~ ci dp-dt


coriditions e0tirg in the tu of C 936, This in eCs :T on c e
or eradicated, constitres & ren- xo ihe agy:ulm a esou e o
the South. Its climi 1 ir1-ti: av not k-owr La:' a popui
tions of several hund; ed pc: squa ya. 0 he. been found F. LLng
has proved to be unpiofatab r r hei-rt inse~ted fie~ds

Control of this pest de1)r.3, upon fiodarg a"i infostaonw
and promptly reporting these fnoirgs so that suppressive easures may
be put into effect This circular ftrzjice iriforution that should
assist persons in recognizing this irset and outlines the measures
applied to effect its centre. end jiuexet ts spread

Since July 1937 unspeetiti, (entici, regulatory, and research
activities have been conucted by divisions of the Bureau of Entomo-
lcgy and Plant Quarantine, United States Department of Agriculture,
and the affected States Researc} %ions have been established at
Florala, Ala., Gulfport, Miss, end New .'rloans, La., by the Division
of Cereal and Forage Insect Investigatacns. The Division of Contxol
Investigations maintains a statioL at Lew Crleans, La Field offices
have been established in each anf'ested area by the Division of Domestic
Plart Quarantines and strgent ,e :ues ror being taker tu control
the viite--fngcid beetle and pvee its dissertation to nor~iufested

Information pertaining to the Lao ogy and aife hsto y
has been taken froni CaT-c, E-L L, "Biology otf the
7ite-Frrg d Beet]e," by H. C Yourg and 13. A. App,
i ssued in Feb ,iry '939

2/ Pantcmorus 1eucolori (Eoh ).


The following areas are known to be infested with Pantomorus
1eucolom (Boh ) or a closely related species, Pantomorus peregrinus
.ui both of which are commonly known as white --inged bet
3 t' of Alabana Colditon Geneva Monoe Conecuh MobiTle and
,ox CountiesS State of Florida2/ Okaloosa Walton, and Escambia
Cou ties, Stste of Louisiana / St. Berrbrd. Orleans, Jefferson and
Lmt Baton Rouge Wishes, Spate of -isi sippi Jonea st Harri.q
~2 Crig on Jackson 4Hinds-/i Pearl R-iver2i and Forres.-


The larae are of the usual weev i form robust, strong-Ly
COO-ex yeMowish hte and legless The larva, head is yellowish
white is partially retracted into the body, and bears two stout
a s r ojib es with which the insect feds upon the loots The
i arva is approximately one-half -inch in length

Durin the winter months larvae are less active than in the
War'aer rths Although most of the larvae are found in the first
_r he of soil specimens have been found at a depth of 2L4 inches.
In Wie arid Aprii the larvae come nearest the suir-face

The %ai ny of the leading1 crops of the Southern States. As emergence from
e eg( tik pa~e in the sui-er and fall when plants are nearly
e -e damage at that time is not so severe as that caused in
tie sp i we lants are smail and easily killed Plants are k3Illed
t ht s/ stunted by injury to roots In many cases the
aot ~ o~ e y ete y se'-ered The larvae uouaily feed upon the outer
ti asure )f the roots, but may burow into the tubers o? roots of po-
t~t~es ean~t sugirmcane and other succulent plants In heavily
fe~red fields or gardens it has not been uncommon for over 50 per-
ceat of the sta.i to be destroyed.

IA ~'&e of the wnite fringed beetle have been obserired to feed
upoa ove L00 spe es of plants Some of the more common host plante
of the arv b3 are braokber )o brooi.uedgo cabbage, Caesar's weed
careless-wood carrot chrysanthemum chufa cocklebu;, corn, cotton,
owiea V udweed cur 'e1 dock false, indigo hair grass Irish potato
Johnson grass, !Aexiian-ciover mustard, onion, plantain, peanuts rag
woed sicke-pod strawbory sweetpotato, tobacco turnip, velvetbean,
ain wite clover

31P peregrns

/Both speciLes.

-3 -


Pupation generally takes place during May, June, or July, de--
pending on the location of the infestation and climatic conditions.
The fullgromu larva forms a cell in the soil and remains in a quies-
cent state for several days, after which it transforms to the pupal
stage, The pupa is approximately sevon-sixteenths of an inch in length
and is immobile, except for the abdomen. As the insect is exceedingly
delicate in this stage, the slightest pressure may cause a rupture of
the body wall and death.

The pupal stage lasts from 8 to 15 days At the end of this
period the pupal akin is molted, and the vourg adult remains in the
pupal cell for seer-al days to enable the body wall to harden.

The adult vihite-fringed beetle is approximately seven.-sixteenths
of an inch in length and about five thirty-seconds of an inch across the
abdomen. The color is a dull gray or brownish gray, with a lighter band
around the margins of the wing cover, giving it its name, the white,
fringed beetle, Two light bands are also found on the thorax and head,
one above and one below the eye- The body is clothed with fine scales
and light hairs The snout is short and stout, bearing clubbed antennae.
The underrings are rudimentary and the wing covers are fused.

The white-fringed beetle is parthenogenetic. Every individual
is a female potentially capable of producing eggs that till hateh. A
single beetle therefore is i ';hetioaIly able to establish this insect
in any territory where conditions-are favorable for existence of the

Emergence of beetles from the ground usually takes place after
a rain. The emergence of adults usually begins early in May and may
continue intermittently until some time in November, but the main emer-
gence usually occurr in July. The rewly emerged insect clibs upon the
nearest plant or bit of debris to permit ftrther hardening of its body
wall. Frequently clusters of newly emerged beetles can be observed on
cotton, cocklebur, and other host plants. The adult live for 2 or 3
months and may be found in protected locations such as beneath the
leaves, along the stems, or on the ground beneath the plants. After
the beetles have fed upon leaf tissue for several days, egg laying be-
gins, continuing intermittently throughout most of the adult period .

The whitea-fringed beetle can crawl less than a mile, and is
unable to fly, but the various transportation facilities of man have
enabled it to gain entrance to this country and become established in
portions of four Gulf Coast States.

Adult Injury

During the summer and fall months adults my be found feeding
upon the leaves of approximately 150 species of host plants, among
the most preferred of which are beautyberry, beggarweed, blackberry,
buttonweed, Caeaa's weed, cocklebur, coffeeweed, cotton, dewberry,
dollar-weed, fa!se indigo, gallberry, honeysuckle, hoary-pea, horse-
weed, kudzu, lespedeza, maypop, Mexican-clover, peanut, pitcher-pea,
ragweed, sickle-pod, smartweed, soybean, and velvetbean More than
200 beetles have been taken from a single cotton plant,

In general the adults Jo not cause severe injury to vegetation,
but damage results when large concentrations of beetles attack favorite
host crops such as peanuts or velvetbeans. Beetles have not been ob-
served to feed on the foliage of corn when other food was available.


The eggs are o-id, whitish, and a little more than one thirty-
second of an inh i.' JIng+h M .ss averaging from 15 to 25 eggs ar'
ornfsentA t- -k- dq)-, n* Roil, and are usually partially con-
oealav hy f) pf, I r0f -:W f0 Eggs dposited. Ouri ng warm weather
h'0-v h. i ir a ?1-7. P w~ek. if sufficient, moiqture is present. Eggs
have remind hs- for ri-Nae than 7 months iVhen kept in a dry oondi-
tion. When +heoi sgg e we-e moistanedv LaTrae soon emerged, idi-
cating hat -mb yon). J, opr nt had been completed. Experimental
evidarvge ind&atee th ~t~ he aqoe:-age beetle my lay mor, -than 800 eggs
over~ a period. oft's~ weeks.


No important natuxai enemies of the v*ite-fringed beetle have
been found, The insect's ability to feed upon a wide range of host
plants, its enormous power of reproduction, and the fact that it spends
the greater part of the year underground complicate the control of this

Suppressive and eradicative activities have been conducted in
all infested areas by the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine,
U S., Department of Agricultare, in cooperation with the affected States.
Beetle populations have been effectively reduced, and no live adwut beetles
were found in 1939 in the infested areas at Collins and Taylorsville,
iss Baton Rouge and Lake Arthur, La and in two isolated infesta-
tions near New Orleans, La,

Poisoning with Cal.ii-um Arsenate and Cryolite Dusts

Inse(;ti ;iLdaX dus- ae ed ffecjely for reducing beetle
popuation iO ant p.up'ries parks, commercial properties, road-
sides, and genden C~voite was used in gardens and i9.elds of legumes

because it is reiat-vwJy ontoxc to uarn~as, and, when used as a dust,
rarely causes buri r fohio Calcium arsenate dust s
used as an inseetL t qd wnte bnds and -olands that
were not accessili t

Field observation ir u ted areas indicated an average beetle
mortality of' 75 p ent J favorable weather conditions a 90 to
95percet nort t y Th Ifetoess of dusting
operations was geat i.u% pe ods of ceskiart ro nf 1

An oil-base herbL d hm. p ued veiy efttt've n destroying
host plants arn otht 'j-aton n r,6dition to the dtetruotlon of
hosts, the spa y kIYP- ni i -rt y rte
The he ilicd@ w s ~ to x~1li~a1 y xd corniercial proper-
ties, vacant city !oty and o1-i propetes from which white-fring d
beetles might be speodo T aPso applied in wcdlandx
and abandoned land theft h s as a re oir Lo- beetle
populations. tioe t'odu e applied around sprayed areas to
kill beetles that rug 7tA i wor thir in search ot food.

Clean Cultivetion

lany far-s we v.:t;d u QaI cultivation because of severe
injury caused by wite-fringed beetle larvae- These farms were turned
over to the Bureau of E-nto-ogy and iant Quarantine for clean culti-
vation. By disking the ldt 5 to 7 t~es during the emergence season,
many host plants of the beOt~b were destoyed, end newly emerged adults
were exposed to derh bj t r by exposure to the direct rays of
the sun. Since wha te-frg t o .ble to deposit viable eggs
before obtaining food they ate fooed -o m-igrate in search of host vege-
tation- Beetles reaciung the gan f the clean cultivated fields ar
poisoned by feedin upon dusted folge around the fields.

Clean ut1iio hi b- i foin th& mot su ul method of
eooba1ing the white-fringsd o In one y a larr populations ca
be reduc-ed to ex Vd il~sb h~

Fiuxuagtion has : eff~e~tve 5.n killing lt'ae and
pupae in the soiL Un o f it high so.%. however, the use of
*his method of o i ,i', -nal i.aest4tiens Where0 it i$ neoe*
Sary to treat ro :nly !i aet nontu )rd i the Cut~gatio~ o- the
infested area-s ir. a~~ no *a tt-raj i rut
have been foun1 at, ~ ~


Inspection for IArv

During the wanteyr g. v-ien very few adults are present,
inspection for lariae Xs the on ,'etod for filing white-fringed
beetle infestat '-3

Yhrith~ "j} lra wIti ag or
death of the pLrnt. !y [ su's In h 'T y infested fields larvae
On1 he b oti, oanod & tV wfVui j-nO,, (h oonll.tion be-
ing pa uY. Y '~' ~~ac .t e norn, or peanuts or in
et gown up not n sary to
do fo 'pI s'n,, as the larvae will usual-
Vy be forwn-' upotn thv "'o +w p ~

10a1 ir- .. kr'j to be f'o~d arourri the )oo+t of fa%,rite
hoF- p~mnt~ f -h4,~I h a~n ~~o~n~ during the
pT s yea, + oe TbS Q~nrt s gLj4f4 in the discussion of

As izmrvaj. #'- hi + vhoui.d be put in vials of 75 per-
cent alo l I 1XO- t h i' q-e nei are not

mf'nVs unti) pre n pa V1r o? speimen should
bm sh pr T n r ing t1ho'. o zpu1))-1) l-~r~n to protsect then, fromn
~ e ~ 1 rm~ 1h1~T1 O~; HOULD LIVE 3?'j&CIlUNO BE SUB-
L) C n t- i .i .. in-a id 1, host plant, exact location where
fouD city or tovm ta date an name and address of the collector,

Inspection for Aduilts

hte haie ben fou. in cultivated fields,
ral ],,uod ,8 io~c p~ i. lwa)y o highway embankments, wood-
land, niYrd*1~$, Lo wv_-+' poF :ie" w (te arfews and residential
rti cv,_ rig in -r on ll' .rb'rained ,ultivated land. In all
these 1 ]o- tion #h a du~t r n. uo mu ~on favorite host plants or
i n th K _V L V, i nt P 'or, interseotione of
h-w1 q Wvih tll Rnifl om .-.Ra In u~n ots often

cofcfwed and o j-: t. On fa a piopettes beetles ale usual-
ly -o n rou or priut- n r!thAens ookleburs, and other
host p ant&,

Be~t tr* th 9 t t- t tender buds.
Most of th-i L~Jq illy'] I' l

The feeding signs of thc 4iite-fringed beetle are easily distin-
guished from injuries caused by some insects, but cannot be distinguished
from signs made by other beotles- hich feed from the outer margin of the
leaves. Look for semicircular cuts made in the margin of the leaf and dis-
regard leaf punctures, loaf nes and other injuries in which the leaf mar-
gin is not cut. The vihte-fringed beetle adult clings to the leaf margin
and removes a crescent of leaf material, working from the margin tur~ieri tWe
fl'it ch ti,' a 'eseent of leaf tissue hr nei tie half noon aroa
:,i Lne leaf i3 onla-ged Additional ares of wt ia I tker: oot until a
large vein or irijdxib is reaolhed, or' untix f has b+- '_ [. t J I:'
Fi-ro I-A. a close-up of the feedtin sig,. Iot)J that Mh i t: c.ute- portion
of tlie injury i. srooth, the inri*' oo ticij lias a 7erricte(" 1o. n, sopt +eaf
tisue the srrations are ,root ut on tou....h i
Figure l-P sh;ws aj severc'y daiacd peanut leaf.

J7700//) por9/oo

/ -~-err ed pr 0 /0

Figure -- i> '.t.....- &. beetle a'-iju"ry to peanut; fo iia-e

C]+o"e -Isp vIion of hot, plants ,s nezoess try an or'der to find feed-
ir signs VAe.WC pol~tion are iht. A magnifyin; -lass i.-,r be used t-
dete,-t cheh otnce (eed:n r signs are fiesh, for the o .d signs wil
show a slight us +lortt~ono If the signs tre fx.Tsh the beetles rW.y usual+-
ly be found on Ltie unde! side of the leaves, on the stein, or on the ;round
Close to the plant wfitn the insects wll drop from the plant "ohen dis-
turbed and feign death, so they are diffiuuit to detect.,

Beetles sub u!Jtbr fOr J,7$- ;+-'Ication should be killed in a cyanide
bottle or placed in 75 percent alcohol. Living specimens cannot be sent
through the nails without special author zatio. Since the escape of a
single beetle can start -t new infestation, it is important that all speci-
niens be killed before tiiey are transported froft an infested area. Specimens
should not be ahipped in envelopes, or other f'limsy containers, but should
bo !xchel in iailinv tubes or cartons th t wil not be damaged in
the mi ils,

Please report find nxs of insects resembling the white-fringed beetle
t) your county g ,t or $tat: ( 1to'oos or to 'h1 te-Friged Beetle Cortrol,
Yost +ffi c" Box )) .uf!or, iS In sub-ttir4 specimores, furnish infor-
mation including the d.-te, location of infested property, host plant, city
or town, itato, and nao..- an address of the collector.



A. Egg ra3sr of the *hite-f-'inged beetle, Pantomoeus ieuooloaia
Eggs a .- depos itd ri nssis of a few to i66 M more on
sti-uk;, debris, of soil, .and are usually cove ad with ftn
particles of soil Approxiinately 800 eggs are laid

B. The la ( ;AA, whan fa Ulgrowri is appro mte'l.y one-half Inch
in leagth The body is yailwiah white, with smatl, yellow-
ish brown head, fleshy, more or less cur'wed, legless, and
sparsely ,y overol with hair

C The pupa -is approzi~rately seven-sixteenths inch in length,
and wha first formed is white Parts of the body and legs
darken so:Wi9at before transforimtion.

D. The adult is approm.mately one-half inch in length and about
one .sixth of an inoh in width across the abdomen The oo'.or
is brownish gray to gray with a lighte ; band along the margins
of the wir(n covers The body is densely covered with pale
hairs, which are especially long on the wing covers. The wings
are fused together, aril the adults are irapable of flight.


















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