Need Pest ID

marjnapOctober 7, 2013

I'm a long time lurker, first time poster. I hoping someone can ID this pest that is all over my cucumber vines. I'm in zone 9B in Central FL.

Thank you,
Marj

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marjnap

Belly view of this guy.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 8:40PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Nice images.

Actual size?

What was it doing? Could have been just hanging out for a while.

Was it a one and only? If so, unlikely to be a problem.

Or did it have lots of friends with it? Even if so, may or may not be a pest. At least, none that I recognize.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 1:10AM
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art33(6)

Hi Marj and welcome to GardenWeb!

Well, I'm no expert on bugs but my guess would be that it's some kind of ground beetle. If so, they're considered beneficial predators that feed on aphids, grubs, slugs, etc. I think they're often found under things like leaves or rocks.

Art

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 2:23AM
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marjnap

@Jean
They are about the same size as a lady bug maybe a little smaller.
There are hundreds of them on my cucumber plants, which is in decline. They mostly hide in the leaves that are turning brown and the flowers. The only thing they seem to be munching on is the flowers. They are annoying because when I pull out declining leaves they come pouring out and fly everywhere.

@Art you seem to be right they like hiding in the declining leaves, but they are annoying like a house fly. When I do housecleaning of the plants, they fly all over the place including my face.

Thank you both for the reply. I'm assuming they will go away when I pull the plants which I will do soon, since they are in decline.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 8:22PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

They aren't ground beetles.....which are found on the ground. These don't really look familiar to me, especially in that size and those numbers.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 5:36AM
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marjnap

I guess I have something no one else has, in this instance, I don't really feel special. :) I have been spraying my cucumber with Neem since I think it is suffering from Downy Mildew and it seem to repel them some.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 1:39PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Take several to your county's Extension Service office to determine what they are and if they are a problem for plants.

With that info in hand, you'll know what to do --or not do -- next time they show up.

I would include the link at the USDA how to locate your county's office but, as you know, the feds are closed for business.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 8:04PM
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marjnap

Thank you Jean. I will take it to my extension office and post back if they know what it is.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 9:56PM
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lkzz(7b)

Some sort of leaf beetle, me thinks.

From the link below:

Family Chrysomelidae (leaf beetles). - This is the largest family of beetles but its members are small, not often being over half an inch long. Most of them are leaf feeders, though the larvae of a few are worm-like and attack underground stems or roots. Many are serious pests and, though almost none is found throughout the entire country, allied species working in similar ways occur.

In the group as a whole, yellowish elytra with black lines or spots seems to be the prevailing color pattern, though, of course, with many exceptions.

Together with the next two families, from which other characters separate this one, the third segment of the tarsus is generally broad, being drawn out into a lobe on each side, and is covered beneath with minute, closely set hairs (pubescent). The antennae are at most of only average length.

Here is a link that might be useful: Leaf beetles

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 1:22PM
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marjnap

The mystery has been solved I got my report back for University of Florida.
Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae: Alleculinae. The two beetles in the sample are comb-clawed beetles. They are common beetles that probably feed on flower pollen as adults. Larvae are found in rotting wood, leaf litter, fungi, or beneath dead bark. Adults are often attracted to lights, but they are not pests. Adults commonly aggregate in large numbers. They shouldn't be a pest of vegetables.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 3:05PM
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