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Plantwise Technical Factsheet

melon (ladybird) beetle (Henosepilachna elaterii)

Host plants / species affected
Citrullus colocynthis (colocynth)
Citrullus lanatus (watermelon)
Cucumis melo (melon)
Cucumis sativus (cucumber)
Cucurbitaceae (cucurbits)
Lactuca sativa (lettuce)
List of symptoms/signs
Fruit  -  external feeding
Leaves  -  external feeding
Whole plant  -  external feeding
Adults and larvae feed on the leaf surface, scraping away cells to form open windows, causing the leaf to wither. Extensive feeding can completely skeletonize the leaf. They can sometimes also feed on the fruit causing surface damage through which secondary infection may occur.

Prevention and control

El Abdin and Siragelnour (1991) reported high mortality rates for dimethoate and malathion in the laboratory. Bashir and Abdalhadi (1986) found cypermethrin and carbaryl gave significant control of H. elaterii on small plants on a farm in Gezira, Sudan. Tilavov (1985) showed that in field trials, applications of chlorophos [trichlorfon], carbophos [malathion] or phosphamide [dimethoate] almost completely eradicated adults and larvae of all ages.

Although this species is widely distributed, most reports of it as a pest species are from Central Asia, states of the former USSR, and Africa, including Senegal, Egypt and the Sudan.

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