back to HYPP Zoology home page

Phyllotreta atra F.
Insecta, Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae .

Turnip flea beetle

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

- Adult: 2.0 to 2.5 mm long, entirely black except the 2nd and 3rd segments of the antennae which are yellow (*) .
- Larva: about 5 mm long when fully grown, whitish; head, prothorax and mesothorax shiny black, with numerous black spots on the abdomen. Typically has the last abdominal segment slightly marked with black and terminating in a small lobe curved into a hook towards the top.

- Host plants: brassicas, particularly cabbage, cauliflower, rape.
- Adult: they overwinter under clods of earth and in various other sheltered situations. Once activity resumes, they congregate on wild or cultivated brassicas and take small bites of 1 to 2 mm in diameter which do not penetrate the whole thickness of the leaf (*) .
The eggs are deposited singly on the ground in the vicinity of the neck of brassicas, particularly of the wild mustard (Sinapis arvensis).
- Egg: development lasts about ten days.
- Larva: it gnaws the roots for 3 to 4 weeks then pupates in the ground.
- Pupation: lasts about ten days.

[R]Life Cycle
- 1 generation per year. In August, the newly emerged adult climbs back up to the surface and begins to feed on the brassica leaves until the end of autumn. When the cold days arrive, it takes shelter until the next spring. In May it resumes its activity and mates.

If the flea beetles are numerous and the temperature high, damage can be substantial, particularly on young seedlings which may be destroyed.

[R]Common Names
DE: Schwarzer Kohlerdfloh ES: Altica negra de las crucíferas FR: Altise noire des crucifères IT: Altica delle crucifere PT: Pulgueta das couves GB: Turnip flea beetle

[R] Images

  1. Phyllotreta atra F. (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Adults attacking a cabbage seedling Insects often live in clusters on the underside of the young leaves upon which they feed.
  2. Phyllotreta atra F. (BASF)
    Adults and damage on young leaf of cabbage

To read this page in French

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

back to HYPP Zoology home page