PESTS OF EGGPLANT

Eggplant - a solanaceous crop - has some of the same pests as pepper, potato, and tomato. The eggplant flea beetle and the eggplant lace bug are common pests, but twospotted spider mites can be more damaging.

KEY TO EGGPLANT PESTS

A. Chewing insects that feed on aboveground plant parts

  1. Beetles - Chewing insects with hard, shell-like forewings which meet in a straight line down the middle of the back; leave holes in foliage

    1. Colorado potato beetle - Yellowish-brown, oval, convex body 9 to 14 mm long; black spots on pronotum (area behind head); five black stripes on each wing cover (Fig. 125); feeds on terminal buds and may consume entire leaves

    2. Flea beetles - Tiny, darkly colored, oval beetles with thickened, jumping hind legs; antennae 1/2 to 2/3 the length of the body; leave tiny "shot holes" in foliage

    3. Eggplant flea beetle - Black, slightly hairy body about 2 mm long with black legs (Fig. 126A)

    4. Potato flea beetle - Brownish-black to black, body about 2.5 mm long; much less hairy than eggplant flea beetle (Fig. 126B)

    5. Colorado potato beetle larva - Soft-bodied chewing insect up to 15 mm long; red, yellowish-red or orange body with black head, three pairs of black legs, and two rows black spots on each side of the body; one pair fleshy prolegs on last abdominal segment (Fig. 127); chews holes in leaves and buds like adult beetle

    B. Pests with needle-like mouthparts which feed on aboveground plant parts and extract plant juices

    1. Eggplant lace bug - Herds of grayish to light brown adults (Fig. 128A) with spiny yellow nymphs (Fig. 128B); adult 4 mm long, 2 mm wide with two pairs of lace-like wings and a hood-like projection just behind (or over) the head; feeds in colonies on underside of leaves; above, infested leaves have roughly circular discolored areas

    2. Twospotted spider mite - Tiny, almost microscopic, pale to dark green pest with 2 or 4 darkly colored spots; adult and nymph 8-legged; larva 6-legged; adult female, oval, 0.3 to 0.5 mm long; male more diamond shaped (Fig. 129); feeds on undersides of leaves; infested foliage with silvery or pale yellow stipples, leaves eventually pale and dry up; silken webs common on undersides of leaves

    C. Soft-bodied, root-feeding pests

    1. Flea beetle larvae - Several species of cylindrical, whitish larvae with brown heads, up to 4 to 5 mm long with 3 pairs of legs near the head and a pair of anal prolegs (Fig. 130)

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