Cassida vittata

Cassida vittata Villers

Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Holometabola, Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae.

Common name: Tortoise beetle.

Geographical distribution: The Mediterranean and Middle East regions.

Morphology: Body about 6 mm long, convex (hence “tortoise beetle”), brown with a greenish hue, prodorsum extends over the head and legs, elytra with parallel striae. Larva about 6 mm long, green, with 16 pairs of lateral spines and posteriorly two strong pincer-like spines.

Host plants: Several Caryophyllaceae and Chenopodiaceae, especially sugar beets (Beta vulgaris Linnaeus).

Life history: In the Middle East this pest raises 2-3 annual generations, each female producing about 300 eggs. The emerging larvae feed on the underside of leaves and may destroy entire leaves.

Economic importance: The tortoise beetle is a very serious pest of sugar beets, leading to reductions in the sugar content of infested plants. Calculations in Egypt indicate that the economic injury level was at about 25 larvae or adults/sample, a sample being 30 leaves from 30 plants.


Horticultural Control: Intercropping sugar beet with maize (corn) or beans reduced pest infestations. Planting sugar beets in autumn had a similar effect.

Chemical control: A carbamate, an organophosphate and neem provided pest control in Egypt.

Biological control: Coccinellid and chrysopid predators feed on the pest and reduce its populations in Egypt. Indigenous entomopathogenic fungi and entomopathogenic nematodes greatly reduced pest numbers in Egypt and increased sugar beet yields.


Abdou, G.Y. 2009. Use of some relatively safe compounds for controlling of the tortoise beetle, Cassida vittata (Vill) in sugar beet crop. Research Journal of Agriculture and Biological Sciences 5: 24-28,

Al-Habshy, A.Z.N. 2013 The economic injury level of Cassida vittata (Vill.) on sugar beet plants. Egyptian Academy Journal of Biological Sciences, A. 6: 159 – 168.

Borowiec, L., Chikatunov, V. and Halperin, J. 1997. The Cassidinae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) of Israel. Israel Journal of Entomology 31: 147-152.

El-Fakharany, S.K.M., Samy, M.A., Ahmed, S.A. and Khattab, M.A. 2012. Effect of intercropping of maize, bean, cabbage and toxicants on the population levels of some insect pests and associated predators in sugar beet plantations. The Journal of Basic & Applied Zoology 65: 21–28.

El-Khouly, M.I.I. 2006. Population fluctuations of the beet fly, Pegomyia mixta Vill. and the tortoise beetle, Cassida vittata (Vill.) in relation to certain associated natural enemies in sugar beet fields at Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate, Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Biological Pest Control 16: 25-28.

Salem, S.A., Abdel-Raheem, M.A., Abdel-Salam, A.M.A. and Farage N.A. 2015. Lab-field evaluation of some Egyptian isolates of entomopathogenic fungi Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana against sugar beet beetle Cassida vittata Vill. Swift Journal of Agricultural Research 1: 009-014

Saleh,M.M.E., Draz, K., Mansour, M.A., Hussein, M.A. and Zawrah,M.F.M. 2009. Controlling the sugar beet beetle Cassida vittata with entomopathogenic nematodes. Journal of Pest Science 82: 289–294.