Chaetocnema tibialis

Chaetocnema tibialis (Illiger)

Taxonomic position: Insecta, Homometabola, Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae.

Common name: Sugarbeet flea beetle.

Morphology: The adults are shiny green-black with a metallic hue, about 2 mm in length, highly convex. The head elytra are black and longitudinaly punctated, the basic antennal segments and legs are red-brown, the other segments black.

Distribution: Mediterranean counties and southern Europe, Caucasus, Cental Asia, Southern Siberia and east to Korea.

Host plants: Sugar beet, (Beta vulgaris L.), other Chenopodiaceae and on various Amaranthaceae, like Amaranthus spp.

Life history: The adults live in the soil and in the spring place their eggs near newly-planted sugar beet plants. The emerging larvae feed and damage these plants, usually raising several annual generations. In summer the pest appears to be inactive.

Economic importance: Chaetocnema tibialis is an important pest of sugar beets in several south European contries and in Turkey. The feeding of the larvae causes small round holes, and at heavy attacks the beet contains many beetles. Later the leaves are also eaten.

In Hungary the beetle has some some importance in regulating the abundance of the weed Amaranthus retroflexus L. in plots of the cultivated Amaranthus caudatus L.


Chemical control: Imidacloprid applied at the spring sowing of sugar beet controlled the pest.

Biological control: New microsporidians have recently been found in different regions of Turkey that may help control the pest.


Ayala, J. 1996. Control de Chaetocnema tibialis (Coleóptera: Chrysomelidae) y Onychiurus armatus (Collembola) en cultivo de remolacha primaveral y otoñal mediante aplicactión de insecticidas en el pildorado. _Boletín de sanidad vegetal Plagas _ 22: 781-787.

Cagañ, L., Tóth, P. and Tóthova, M. 2006. Population dynamics of Chaetocnema tibialis Illiger and Phyllotreta vittula (Redtenbacher) on the weed Amaranthus retroflexus L. and cultivated Amaranthus caudatus L. Plant Protection Science 42: 73-80.

Yaman, M. 2007. First results on the distribution of Nosema chaetocnemae Yaman et Radek, 2003 (Microspora) in the populations of Chaetocnema tibialis Illiger, 1807 (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Türkiye Parazitoloji Dergisi 32:94-98.