Leptinotarsa decemlineata

The Colorado beetle of potatoes. Originally a parasite of the wild Solanum rostratum (buffalo burr, or prickly potato) in Colorado, USA, this beetle moved on to cultivated potatoes as a new encounter parasite, and became one of the worst insect pests in the whole of agriculture. It is a yellow and black striped beetle, the same shape as a ladybird, but much larger, being half an inch long. The larvae and beetles are voracious eaters of potato leaves and, if not controlled, they can destroy a potato crop. Originally controlled with compounds of lead and arsenic, the beetles are now controlled with synthetic insecticides. Little breeding for resistance has been attempted, probably because no single-gene resistances could be found. An attractive project for amateur breeders working with horizontal resistance. Lesion

Any visible damage or injury to a plant, usually caused by a parasite. Lettuce

See: Lactuca sativa.

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