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Hoplia Beetle,Hoplia callipyge (family Scarabaeidae), is a common pest of roses and other plants in many parts of western region of the United States.
Hoplia beetles are robust beetles that measure 0.25 to 0.3 inches long. The dorsum of the adult beetles is reddish brown and their heads are darker. The underside of the body is silvery and shiny. The whitish larvae are found in the ground and are C-shaped with a bulbous posterior. Adults emerge from the soil in spring and fly to vineyards to feed and mate.
The yellow egg is about 1.3 mm long and elliptical in shape. Larva â€“ The yellow larva is about 8.5 mm long and covered with dark, branched spines. Color plate. Pupa â€“ The yellow or copper colored pupa is about 6 mm long. It moves very little, has fewer spines than the larva, and is most commonly found on the lower half of the soybean plant.
Life Cycle :Females of the hoplia beetle lay eggs in pastures, alfalfa fields, and other areas of undisturbed vegetation in late spring and early summer. Larvae are small and crescent-shaped.They live in the soil feeding on decaying vegetation and plant roots. At this point in the life cycle they do not do damage to woody plants. The larvae mature slowly and usually overwinter in the larval or pupal stage. In early spring they complete their development and emerge as adults.
The eggs hatch in five to 14 days. The bright yellow larvae are oval-shaped with six rows of branched spines. The larvae feed for two to five weeks. Larvae and adults feed on all types of beans and are an occasional pest of soybeans.
They generally feed on the underside of leaves, removing all of the leaf tissue except the clear layer on the upper side of the leaf, called the epidermis. This damage, called â€świndow-paning,â€ť gives the leaves a lace-like or skeletonized appearance. The remaining leaf tissue turns brown in a couple of days, giving the field a burnt cast. New pods and stems are often attacked, and severely damaged plants may die prematurely.
Damage :Hoplia beetles commonly infest rose plants in spring and feed on the flowers. Lighter colored flowers, such as yellow, pink and white, are more susceptible to the pest. The beetle feeding leaves holes in the petals and ruins the early buds. Hoplia beetles do not feed on rose foliage.
Bean pods may also be scarred, but this damage is seldom considered economic. Soybeans near woodlots, alfalfa fields, and fields where residues have not been plowed are most likely to incur damage. Though the Mexican bean beetle has mandibles that are typical of chewing insects, it does not swallow bits of food. Rather, it masticates its food and consumes the resultant juices.
The foliage of garden beans such as snap, kidney, pinto, and lima are preferred, but Mexican bean beetles can also be serious pests of soybeans. The beetles also feed on alfalfa, clover, peanut, okra, eggplant, squash, and various weeds. Both larvae and adults impart a skeletonized or lacy appearance to leaves by consuming the leavesâ€™ epidermal layers. Heavily infested soybean fields take on a dusty appearance as leaves shrivel and turn brown.
Sampling Method : If during sampling Mexican bean beetle feeding damage is evident, determine the percentage defoliation level for individual plants in 5 separate areas of the field and estimate the average percentage defoliation level for the field as a whole. Ascertain the size of the population by taking 20 sweep net samples in each of the 5 areas of the field. Record the number of Mexican bean beetle adults and larvae separately.
If beetles are feeding on pods, randomly select 2 plants in each of 5 areas of the field and count the number of pods per plant and the number that show insect damage (10 total plants).
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