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Species Epicauta vittata - Striped Blister Beetle

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Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga
No Taxon (Series Cucujiformia)
Superfamily Tenebrionoidea
Family Meloidae (Blister Beetles)
Subfamily Meloinae
Tribe Epicautini
Genus Epicauta
No Taxon (subgenus Epicauta)
No Taxon (Vittata Group)
Species vittata (Striped Blister Beetle)
Other Common Names
Old-fashioned potato bug
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Epicauta vittata (Fabricius)
Orig. Comb: Lytta vittata Fabricius 1775
Syn: Epicauta lemniscata - apparently considered conspecific by many
Explanation of Names
vittata - Scientific Latin for "longitudinally striped" (in Classical Latin it refers to a band or ribbon)
12-18 mm
Dull yellow head and pronotum, each elytron with two black stripes. Body underneath and legs black (1).
So-called Three-lined Blister Beetle, Epicauta lemniscata, has three black stripes on each elytron, found in south (2). Now considered a race of vittata according to Univ. Florida Featured Creatures
June-September (BG data)
Feeds on variety of plants, especially Solanaceae (e.g., potatoes, tomatoes), also soybeans, other crops. Pigweed, Amaranthus species, not a crop plant, is also fed upon extensively.
Life Cycle
Two generations per year that may overlap.
See Also
Epicauta occidentalis Werner and Epicauta temexa Selander and Adams, are very similar.
Print References
Arnett et al., p. 286, fig. 672 (2)
Brimley, p. 162, lists both Epicauta lemniscata and Epicauta vittata from North Carolina (3).
Cranshaw, pp. 176-177--photo Epicauta lemniscata (4)
Dillon, p. 295, plate 30 (1)
Papp, p. 104, fig. 328 (5)
Salsbury, p. 217--Epicauta lemniscata--photo (6)
Sikes, p. 200, lists from Rhode Island, lists food plants (7).
Internet References
Featured Creatures - Univ. Florida
Works Cited
1.A Manual of Common Beetles of Eastern North America
Dillon, Elizabeth S., and Dillon, Lawrence. 1961. Row, Peterson, and Company.
2.How to Know the Beetles
Ross H. Arnett, N. M. Downie, H. E. Jaques. 1980. Wm. C. Brown Publishers.
3.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
4.Garden Insects of North America : The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs (Princeton Field Guides)
Whitney Cranshaw. 2004. Princeton University Press.
5.Introduction to North American Beetles
Charles S. Papp. 1984. Entomography Pubns.
6.Insects in Kansas
Glenn A. Salsbury and Stephan C. White. 2000. Kansas Dept. of Agriculture.
7.The Beetle Fauna of Rhode Island, an Annotated Checklist
Derek Sikes. 2004. Rhode Island Natural History Survey.