back to HYPP Zoology home page

Atomaria linearis (Stephens)
Insecta, Coleoptera, Cryptophagidae .

Pygmy mangold beetle

Description, Biology, Life Cycle, Damage, Common Names, Images

- Adult: 1.00 to 1.75 mm long, entirely reddish brown to dark brown, slightly flattened with fine punctuations and tiny reddish bristles dorsally. The sides of the elytra are almost parallel until the posterior third. Square pronotum of the same basal width as the elytra. Yellowish legs (*) .
- Eggs: whitish, 0.5 mm in length.
- Larva: 2.5 mm long, whitish, slightly sclerified head; last abdominal segment with two curved hooks; slightly hairy dorsally.

- Host plant: beet and wild Chenopodiaceae.
- Adult: it dislikes heat and, according to wheather conditions, lives in the ground or on the aerial parts of the plant. In dry weather, it digs small holes of 0.5 to 2 mm in the underground part of the stem or nibbles the rootlets. In wet weather, it moves about on the ground surface or at the heart of the plant and gnaws the underside of the cotyledons and the peduncle (*) .
The female lays 15 to 20 eggs singly in the ground, near the base of beet stem.
- Egg: embryonic development lasts 4 to 6 days.
- Larva: it gnaws the rootlets then pupates in the ground.

[R]Life Cycle
-1 annual generation.
- The adults hibernate in the ground or under decomposing plant matter. They resume their activity in spring. From May onwards, they invade beet crops.
Mating takes place from April to mid-June and egg laying from June to the end of September. Most young adults remain in the fields or in their immediate vicinity.

Feeding by the pigmy mangold beetle kills young plants (*) . Damage is particularly serious in beet crops coming after, or in the vicinity of, a previous beet crop.

[R]Common Names
DE: Moosknopfkäfer ES: Atomaria de la remolacha FR: Atomaire de la betterave IT: Atomaria PT: Atomária da beterraba GB: Pygmy mangold beetle

[R] Images

  1. Atomaria linearis Stephens (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Damage to seedlings of beet Young stems and roots affected at the germination period.
  2. Atomaria linearis Stephens (BASF)
    Adults on young root of beet
  3. Atomaria linearis Stephens (BASF)
    Adult bites on root of beet

To read this page in French

HYPPZ on line : Species (scientific name), Pests (common names), Glossary, Crops.

back to HYPP Zoology home page