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Oulema melanopa (L.)
Lema melanopa

Insecta, Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae .

Cereal leaf beetle

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

- Adult: elongate; 5-6 mm long; elytra blue, green, rarely black and provided with obvious lines of punctures; scutellum, femora and tibiae orange-red; head and tarsi black, antennae 11-segmented, as long as half the body (*) .
- Larva: body very curved; up to 4.5 mm long; slug-like; back covered with a layer of yellowish-grey and sticky excrement (*) ; cuticle yellowish; head capsule stout and dark brown; legs thick.

Host plants mainly include cereals, especially wheat, barley, rye, oats and sometimes maize. Other Gramineae, e.g. rye-grass are also infested.
- Number of eggs produced: 100, 300 at the very maximum.
- Duration of egg development: about 8-10 days.
- Duration of pupation: about 2 weeks.
- The whole developmental period lasts about 40 days.

[R]Life Cycle
- There is 1 generation per year (occasionally 2 in the South and South-East of Europe owing to weather conditions).
Adults overwinter in plant debris in the soil. After leaving their shelter in the spring, they feed on wild Gramineae and, in June, young wheat.
- From mid-May, eggs are deposited in rows on the upper side of leaves. Larvae infest winter wheat from the ear emergence period to the end of milky ripeness. In dry weather, ear emergence may be prevented and growth hampered.
- Pupation takes place in a cocoon situated 3-5 cm in the soil. After hatching in late July, young adults infest late wheat fields or wild Gramineae, taking cover in late October.
- High temperatures in spring and summer favour egg-laying and induce a rise in population numbers. However, temperatures below 16 or 17°C in May-June and heavy rainfall lead to a high mortality of larvae and pupae.

- Spring maturation feeding by adults cause characteristic 'windowing' of the leaves. Larvae also cause such depredations on the upper surface of cereal leaves (*) . Young adults feed mainly on wild Gramineae, larvae feeding mainly on the flag leaves of summer cereals and sometimes causing severe damage, with a reduction in yield of up to 60%.
- Oulema melanopa is a vector of certain viruses affecting Gramineae.

[R]Common Names
DE: Buntes Getreidehänhchen, Rothalsiges Getreidehähnchen ES: Babosilla del trigo FR: Criocère des céréales IT: Criocera dell'orzo PT: Larva-lesma da cevada GB: Cereal leaf beetle

[R] Images

  1. Oulema melanopa (L.) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Adult on stem of wheat
  2. Oulema melanopa (L.) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Larva and larval damage on wheat Parts of the leaf eaten between veins.
  3. Oulema melanopa (L.) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Damage caused by larva on wheat An adult is still present (arrowed).

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