Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Pumpkin beetle (040)

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  • Uncertain distribution. Asia, Oceania. On cucurbits. Common on cucumber, melon, pumpkin, watermelon and gourds. Similar species are pests of these plants elsewhere in Southeast Asia and Oceania..
  • Eggs are laid in the soil, and larvae feed on the roots.
  • Adults do the damage, cutting circles from the leaves; often several beetles feed on the same leaf.
  • Cultural control: avoid planting new crops next to old; ensure adequate nutrition and water so plants outgrow beetle damage; catch beetles in early morning or evening; at harvest, collect trash and destroy after harvest; leave 1-2 months before replanting.
  • Chemical control: spray with wood ash (ash + lime in water); alternatively, PDPs: neem, derris and pyrethrum, or spinosad; or synthetic pyrethroids, but likely to kill natural enemies.
Common Name

Pumpkin beetle, red pumpkin beetle

Scientific Name

Aulacophora species. The identification of the species in the Pacific is uncertain. Aulacophora similis has been recorded from Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Tonga. But it is more likely that the species in these countries is Aulacophora abdominalis.

AUTHORS Helen Tsatsia & Grahame Jackson
Information from Chris Reid (pers.comm.). Australian Museum, Sydney; and from Aulacophora. Wikipedia. (; Henderson RC, Crosby TK (2012) Pumpkin beetle (Aulacophora indica): PaDIL - 1&4 Graham Teakle, Canberra. Photos 2&3 Mani Mua, SPC, Sigatoka Research Station, Fiji.

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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