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Aulacophora nigripennis1.jpg
Aulacophoran igripennis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Chrysomelidae
Subfamily: Galerucinae
Genus: Aulacophora
Dejean, 1835

Aulacophora is a genus of beetles in the family Chrysomelidae, commonly known as pumpkin beetles; some species are pests of agricultural crops. The genus was named by the French entomologist and expert on beetles, Pierre François Marie Auguste Dejean. The name, from Ancient Greek, signifies "furrow-bearer"' from aulax, "furrow".


Beetles in this genus are oval insects up to about 8 mm (0.3 in) long and can be recognised by their presence on the host plant.[1]


Pumpkin beetles are found in Africa, Asia and Australasia. Some of the more important pest species are A. foveicollis from Africa, Europe and Asia, A. similis from southern and southeastern Asia, A. coffeae from Malaysia, A. flavomarginata from Malaysia and Indonesia, A. femoralis from Myanmar and Vietnam, A. lewisii from Malaysia and Vietnam, and A. frontalis from Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.[2]


Beetles in this genus feed on members of the Cucurbitaceae family including cucumbers, pumpkins, melons, watermelons, gourds and squashes.[1]

Life cycle[edit]

The eggs, which are yellow, are laid in batches of up to five in the soil at the base of cucurbit plants. They hatch after eight to fifteen days and the larvae feed on the roots or tunnel into them, feeding for eighteen to thirty-five days and passing through four instar stages. They are creamy white at first but have turned yellowish-orange by the time they pupate in chambers in the ground. The adult beetles emerge after from four to fourteen days. They are strong fliers and disperse to other plants. The adult beetles may live for up to ten months and each female can lay in the order of five hundred eggs, so there can be several overlapping generations of beetles.[1][2]


Adult pumpkin beetles feed on the foliage and flowers of the host plants; seedlings may be destroyed by heavy attacks and young plants may be severely affected. Several beetles may cluster on a single leaf, leaving other leaves untouched. The beetles feed between the veins, often cutting and removing circular discs which they then eat.[1] The larvae tunnel into the roots, which become swollen, discoloured and distorted, and the plant may die.[2]


The following species have been described:[3]


  1. ^ a b c d "Pumpkin beetle" (PDF). Pacific Pests and Pathogens Fact Sheet. PestNet. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Muniappan, R. (2012). Arthropod Pests of Horticultural Crops in Tropical Asia. CABI. pp. 25–26. ISBN 978-1-84593-951-9.
  3. ^ "Synopsis of the described Coleoptera of the World". Joe Hallan's Biology Catalogue. Archived from the original on 2014-12-30.