The Canadian Entomologist

Articles

BIOLOGY OF THE CRUCIFER FLEA BEETLE, PHYLLOTRETA CRUCIFERAE (COLEOPTERA: CHRYSOMELIDAE), IN SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO1 2

G. B. Kinoshita3 p1, H. J. Svec4, C. R. Harris4 and F. L. McEwen3

Abstract

The biology of the crucifer flea beetle, Phyllotreta cruciferae (Goeze), was studied in the laboratory, and under field conditions in southwestern Ontario. Field-collected adults, held in a state of induced hibernation were used for some laboratory studies. A rearing procedure was developed and a culture maintained for eight generations provided additional adults for laboratory work. Development and behaviour of the various crucifer flea beetle stages at different temperatures were studied. The mean preoviposition period ranged from 3.8 (32°C) to 22 (20°C) days. Time required for development from egg to adult varied from 24 (30°C) to 54 (20°C) days. For oviposition capability and egg to adult development, developmental thresholds were ca. 17° and 11°C, respectively, and 61 and 456 degree days were required. Crucifer flea beetle adults overwintered in leaf litter and the top 2.5 cm of soil, in windbreaks, fencerows, and cultivated areas. Adults appeared in early spring. Peak adult movement occurred at this time, primarily within 2 m of the ground, and oriented toward crucifer plots. Using heat unit summations calculated from soil temperatures, adult emergence in the field from eggs set out at various times was predicted with an accuracy of ± 3.7 days. Population studies and heat unit accumulations indicated that there was a single generation of crucifer flea beetle in 1974, and two generations in 1975. Adults were restricted primarily to cruciferous crops, with rutabaga and Chinese cabbage being the preferred hosts, among those varieties tested.

(Received November 28 1978)

Correspondence

p1 Present address: Cyanamid Canada Inc., Agricultural Products, Scarborough, Ontario M1P 2M4.

Footnotes

1 From part of a thesis submitted by the senior author in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario.

2 Contribution No. 756, Research Institute, Agriculture Canada, London, Ontario.

3 Department of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1.

4 Research Institute, Agriculture Canada, London, Ontario N6A 3K0.