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Cereal Grain Insect Pest

Cereal Leaf Beetle

Cereal Leaf Beetle

This beetle feeds on the foliage of cereal grains such as oats, wheat, barley, corn and rye. However this insect prefers wheat.

The adult beetles are brightly colored. The first pair of wings (the elytra) are hard and are metallic blue-black. The legs of adults and the prothorax (first segment behind the head) are red. Cereal leaf beetle adults are 3/16 inch long. The brown-to-black larvae are often covered with black, shiny mucus. Fully grown larvae are 1/4 inch long.

The larvae feed on leaves by eating streaks of tissue from the upper surface of the leaf. Larvae-damaged leaves have long, narrow feeding strips between the veins. When adults are feeding in the early season, they chew holes completely through the leaf.

The adults can been found in grain at harvest. Check your wheat at this time to see if this pest is on your farm.


Photos and information is from Phillip Glogoza, Extension Entomologist for North Dakota State University.

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