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The Common Asparagus Beetle and Spotted Asparagus Beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae): Identification, Ecology, and Management

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The common and spotted asparagus beetles (Crioceris asparagi (L.) and Crioceris duodecimpunctata (L.), respectively) are host-specific pests of asparagus, and frequently occur wherever asparagus is grown. The common asparagus beetle is the more serious of the two pests. It emerges earlier in the season, and both adults and larvae can cause damage to the asparagus crop by chewing spears and removing fern. This article describes morphological features of both asparagus beetles, discusses aspects of their life cycle and ecology, and addresses management strategies such as pesticides, biological, and cultural controls.
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The Common Asparagus Beetle and Spotted Asparagus Beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae):
Identification, Ecology, and Management
William R. Morrison, III, and Zsofia Szendrei
1
Department of Entomology, Michigan State University, 288 Farm Lane, East Lansing, MI 48824.
1
Corresponding author, e-mail: morri362@msu.edu.
J. Integ. Pest Mngmt. 5(3): 2014; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/IPM14004
ABSTRACT. The common and spotted asparagus beetles (Crioceris asparagi (L.) and Crioceris duodecimpunctata (L.), respectively) are
host-specific pests of asparagus, and frequently occur wherever asparagus is grown. The common asparagus beetle is the more serious
of the two pests. It emerges earlier in the season, and both adults and larvae can cause damage to the asparagus crop by chewing spears
and removing fern. This article describes morphological features of both asparagus beetles, discusses aspects of their life cycle and
ecology, and addresses management strategies such as pesticides, biological, and cultural controls.
Key Words: integrated pest management, vegetable, crop protection, Asparagus officinalis, biological control
The common (Crioceris asparagi (L.) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae))
and spotted (Crioceris duodecimpunctata (L.)) asparagus beetles are
major, host-specific pests of asparagus in most asparagus producing
regions (LeSage et al. 2008), including the major production regions
of the United States (except California) and Canada. They frequently
undergo three generations per year in most temperate areas (Capinera
and Lilly 1975, Taylor and Harcourt 1975, Taylor and Harcourt 1978),
though they sometimes only undergo two generations, as in Germany
(Dingler 1934). The common asparagus beetle emerges earlier in the
season, and is often the more damaging of the two beetle species. In
large outbreaks, the common asparagus beetle may cause widespread
defoliation, either reducing the vigor of asparagus plants or causing
stem death (Chittenden 1917). Infestations early in the season result in
loss of marketable yield of spears (Delahout 2005). As an example of
the economic impact of the common asparagus beetle, in three states
of the United States alone (Washington, Michigan, and Illinois), the
loss to beetle feeding damage, resultant market culling and the cost of
partially effective insecticides has been estimated between US$1.4
and US$1.6 million per year (Hendrickson et al. 1991). This pest
profile discusses morphological features of these two pests, their
damage, life cycle, and biology. Finally, we conclude with options for
management and explore possible directions for research in the future.
Identification
The common and spotted asparagus beetle belong to the family of
leaf beetles. Both the spotted and common asparagus beetle exhibit
warning coloration patterns often indicative of being noxious, and in
the case of the spotted asparagus beetle, this results in a low accept-
ability as a food source to birds (Jones 1932). The chemical cause for
this has not been studied. Adult common asparagus beetles can be
recognized by a variable number of black spots on a red thorax, and
patchy yellow coloration interspersed with black on the abdomen with
a maroon border around the edges of the elytra (Fig. 1F–H). Adult
common asparagus beetles are usually 6.4 mm (0.25 inch) in size,
with a hardened front pair of wings (Chittenden 1917). In contrast, the
spotted asparagus beetle is colored bright orange to red with six spots
on each wing cover (Fig. 1I–K), but is similarly sized to the common
asparagus beetle. Overall, the common asparagus beetle tends to be
somewhat more elongate, while the spotted asparagus beetle is stock-
ier (Fink 1913, Drake and Harris 1932). Larvae of both species have
miniscule black heads (compared with the adults), thin thoraxes, three
pairs of stout, light brown legs, and abdomens that bulge away from
the head reminiscent of a comma. The difference between the two
species in the larvae is primarily coloration: the larvae of the common
asparagus beetle are dark gray to whitish, while those of the spotted
asparagus beetle are first orange-like then more variable at later instars
(ranging from grayish yellow to light orange). The larvae of both
species may have black spots on the abdomen, and are similarly sized
to adults in the last instar (Fig. 1C–E). Eggs of both species are 1–2
mm, oval, and black to greenish brown. For the common asparagus
beetle, the eggs may occur in neat rows (Fig. 1A and B) with 3–10 per
cluster and usually point perpendicularly to the branch or cladophyll
on which it has been glued by the beetle (Voigt and Gorb 2010). The
spotted asparagus beetle, however, lays its eggs singly on their sides
instead of perpendicularly to the branches (Drake and Harris 1932).
Biogeography
The common and spotted asparagus beetles were originally Pale-
arctic in distribution, mirroring that of Asparagus officinalis L. in the
old world (Drake and Harris 1932), mostly around the Mediterranean
Sea region (FGP Consortium 2014). There are also records of the
common asparagus beetle from Russia (Krainsky 1914), Argentina
(Miatello 1914, c.f. Dingler 1934), and parts of Burundi, Rwanda, and
Tanganyika (former German Ostafrika: Heinze 1929). However, the
common asparagus beetle was eventually introduced to North Amer-
ica in New York, NY, in 1860 from Europe, while the spotted
asparagus beetle was first detected in the United States in 1881 near
Baltimore, MD (Chittenden 1917). Subsequently, the beetles spread
northward into Canada and westward across the United States and
Canada (LeSage et al. 2008). The first detected specimens in Canada
were found in 1899 in Queenston, ON (LeSage et al. 2008). Both
asparagus beetles can now be found wherever asparagus is commonly
grown, but tend to be less abundant in hotter climates such as southern
California (Capinera 2001). They are able to coexist because of
resource and temporal niche differentiation, with spotted asparagus
beetle larvae feeding on berries instead of the fern, and developing
later than the common asparagus beetle by 1 mo.
Life Cycle and Biology
Both the common and spotted asparagus beetle feed solely on A.
officinalis in North America (Fink 1913, Drake and Harris 1932). In
some rare circumstances, the species have been recorded as feeding
from hosts other than garden asparagus in other regions of the world.
For example, both the common and spotted asparagus beetle was
recorded as feeding on Asparagus filifolius Bertoloni in Iran (Berti and
Rapilly 1976). In laboratory experiments, the common asparagus
beetle refused to feed on Asparagus densiflorus (Kunth) (cultivar
Meyeri), and Asparagus verticillatus L., while the spotted asparagus
beetle fed on A. verticillatus, but to a lesser extent than Asparagus
officinalis (Schmitt 1988).
The common asparagus beetle is more abundant, emerges earlier in
the season, and causes more damage than the sympatric spotted
asparagus beetle (Capinera 2001). When both asparagus beetles are
present in a field, the common asparagus beetle outnumbers the
spotted by 13:1 (Dingler 1934). Adult common asparagus beetles
overwinter as adults (Fig. 2) in hollow asparagus stems, under debris
in the field, and under the loose bark of trees (Chittenden 1917). On
emergence during spring in early May (Wold-Burkness et al. 2006),
common asparagus beetle adults begin to feed on spears, causing
affected spears to exhibit pock marks and lose commercial value (Fig.
3). In addition, adults will mate and females then deposit their eggs
with proteinaceous glue on developing spears, as well as any aspar-
agus that is in fern. This sticky glue is usually secreted from the
epithelium of the pedicel in the female asparagus beetle (Gupta and
Riley 1967). Oviposition on spears poses a serious risk to their
marketability because they cannot be washed off with water. The force
required to remove asparagus beetle eggs from the plant is 8,600
times the weight of the egg (Voigt and Gorb 2010).
Eggs may start developing at lower temperatures than larvae or
pupae, and degree–day (DD) calculations for the common asparagus
beetle have worked best with a lower developmental threshold of 10°C
(Taylor and Harcourt 1978). Eggs can appear as early as 120 DD in
the season, which is about the time when asparagus spears start
emerging (90 DD) along with other asparagus pests, such as the
asparagus miner, which also become active in early spring (Morrison
et al. 2014). Adult common asparagus beetles prefer to lay their eggs
in neat rows on the cladophylls (or “needles”) and flowers of the
asparagus plant (Szwejda 2002). It takes eggs 3–10 d to hatch if the
temperature is between 14 and 30°C. In the laboratory, eggs tolerated
temperatures between 8 and 34°C. The eggs, larvae, and pupae take,
on average, 58, 167, and 92 DD to complete development, respec-
tively. Once spear harvesting stops, asparagus beetle populations may
build up in a field, with both larvae and adults feeding on the plant
(Watts 1938). Larvae or “grubs” typically feed for between 10 and
15 d, depending on the temperature (Drake and Harris 1932). Larvae
and pupae can tolerate temperatures between 10 and 34°C in the
laboratory (Taylor and Harcourt 1978). As the larvae feed, they
secrete a blackish fluid, consisting of fecal material, which may
contaminate spears (Drake and Harris 1932). Common asparagus
beetle larvae undergo four successive instars during their develop-
ment. Both adult and larval feeding reduces the photosynthetic capa-
bility of the plant (Grafius and Hutchison 1995), translating to fewer
Fig. 1. Life stages of the common asparagus beetle and spotted asparagus beetle. (A) Healthy common asparagus beetle eggs, (B) common
asparagus beetle eggs parasitized or fed on by natural enemies, (C–E) common asparagus beetle larvae, (F) adult common asparagus beetles
seen dorsally, (G) from the side, or (H) in copula; adult spotted asparagus beetles seen (I) dorsally, (J) from the side, or (K) in copula. (Photos
by W. R. Morrison, III.)
2 JOURNAL OF INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT VOL. 5, NO. 3
carbohydrates stored in the crown for subsequent harvests (Capinera
2001). Mature larvae fall off the plant and burrow into the ground,
where they pupate just beneath the soil surface (Taylor and Harcourt
1975). After 10 to 14 d, adults eclose in temperate regions of North
America and repeat the cycle (Capinera and Lilly 1975b). On average,
a single generation for the asparagus beetle takes 30 d in the summer,
depending on specific climatic conditions. The common asparagus
beetle has three peak oviposition periods during the year: in early
June, July, and August in Canada (Taylor and Harcourt 1975).
The life cycle of the spotted asparagus beetle is similar to that of
the common asparagus beetle, except that it emerges later in the
season, and only the adults are injurious to asparagus. Eggs are
inconspicuously deposited singly among the thin branches of the as-
paragus plant, and the eggs often take on the color of the substrate
(Fink 1913), allowing them to blend in with their surroundings. Larvae
hatch and then seek out asparagus berries, in which they feed and
complete their development (Fink 1913). Spotted asparagus beetle
larvae typically require 2–5 asparagus berries to fully mature (Fink
1913, Dingler, 1934). This is not damaging to commercial asparagus
production because the berries are not necessary for harvesting aspar-
agus spears (although this is not the case for breeders and seed
producers). The majority of the asparagus plants are male in a com-
mercial field because these have higher yields than female plants,
thus there are few locations where berries can be found for female
spotted asparagus beetles to lay their eggs. Finally, the adults of the
spotted asparagus beetle are thought to be better at dispersal than the
common asparagus beetle, especially when there is a large amount of
mechanical or anthropogenic disturbance (Capinera 1976).
The common asparagus beetle has three primary defenses when
disturbed. It either dodges around the asparagus stem evasively, drops
to the ground and feigns death (Capinera 1976), or uses its defensive
glands located laterally on its pronotum (Deroe and Pasteels 1982).
The spotted asparagus beetle, however, usually takes flight (Capinera
1976). Both the common and spotted asparagus beetles have the
ability to stridulate in response to disturbance (Drake and Harris 1932,
Capinera 1976).
Management Options
The primary method of control for asparagus beetles by most
commercial asparagus growers involves the use of broad spectrum
insecticides applied foliarly (McClanahan 1975) based on thresholds
(see next paragraph). The most commonly used insecticides are car-
bamates (U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] 2007) and pyre-
throids, but newer chemistries labeled for use in asparagus, containing
spinetoram and spinosad, are also available and have lower impact and
are environmentally safer options for growers. There is continuing
work investigating the use of reduced-risk chemistries (Kuhar et al.
2006) such as Bt formulations (Gao et al. 2011). More reduced-risk
insecticide options, which have a short preharvest interval, are needed
to protect plants from adult beetle feeding and egg laying during
harvest.
Economic thresholds have been developed for the asparagus bee-
tles, which can guide growers in determining when to spray. Scouting
usually begins in early spring, before 120 DD have accumulated
(biofix 1 January, base 10°C) and continues throughout the season
(Wold-Burkness et al. 2006). Twenty plants are typically checked at
Fig. 2. Asparagus beetle life cycle, with a whole generation lasting between 23 and 37 d and a total of three generations per year in most
temperate areas. Pupa drawn by Bernice DeMarco, Michigan State University.
Fig. 3. Asparagus beetle damage on the (A) spear, on the(B and C) stem, and (D) widespread on A. officinalis plants in the field in Oceana
County, MI, during the 2013 growing season. (Photos by W. R. Morrison, III.)
SEPTEMBER 2014 MORRISON AND SZENDREI: ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT OF ASPARAGUS BEETLES 3
random in five different locations in the field (N100 plants in total)
when scouting, regardless of field size because asparagus fields are
planted on smaller acreages than row crops. Sampling usually occurs
in the afternoon, as this is when adult asparagus beetles are most active
(Wold-Burkness et al. 2006). It is likely that asparagus beetles hide in
the leaf litter or the soil during the night and early morning until air
temperatures increase sufficiently for flight. Sampling for larvae is not
contingent on time of day because larvae are relatively immobile
compared with the adults. During the harvest season, an insecticide
may be considered if 2% of the spears have eggs or 5% of the
plants are infested with asparagus beetle adults (Wold-Burkness and
Hahn 2007). After the harvest season, an insecticide may be applied
if 10% of the plants are infested with adults, 2% of plants are egg
infested, 50–75% of plants have larvae, or if plants have at least 10%
defoliation. (Delahout 2005, Van Wychen-Bennett et al. 2013).
There are several natural enemies that feed on the asparagus beetle.
The primary egg–larval parasitoid is Tetrastichus coeruleus (Nees)
(Hymenoptera: Eulophidae; Fig. 4A and B), occurring mainly in the
United States and Europe, which can cause up to 71% mortality in the
field (Capinera and Lilly 1975a, Poll et al. 1998). This is a host-
specific parasitoid of the common asparagus beetle. T. coeruleus was
originally described as Tetrastichus asparagi Crawford (Noyes 2014),
thus most of the literature regarding this species has been published
under this junior synonym. This parasitoid is a gregarious koinobiont
(Fernald 1909, Johnston, 1915), with young living inside the egg and
feeding on the developing asparagus beetle embryo until it is ready to
hatch. Parasitized eggs appear unaffected, and when the asparagus
beetle larva emerges from the eggs, the parasitoid continues to feed on
the larva until it drops to the soil to pupate (LeSage et al. 2008). The
parasitoid emerges in place of the asparagus beetle adult from the
pupal cell. Adult T. coeruleus prefers to host feed on eggs earlier in
their development, while sparing more developed eggs for oviposition
(Capinera and Lilly 1975b). Whereas beetle eggs with internal larval
T. coeruleus feeding show no outwards signs of parasitism, eggs with
T. coeruleus adult feeding show a distinct vacuum-sealed appearance
(Fig. 1B). Parasitoids may destroy more eggs by adult feeding than
through parasitization (Johnston 1915). On average, 4.75 T. coer-
uleus adults emerge per larva, though this ranges between 2 and 13
individuals per larva (Capinera and Lilly 1975b). In addition, the
parasitoid and common asparagus beetle have fairly synchronous life
cycles, disjunct by no more than 2–5 d (Capinera and Lilly 1975b). T.
coeruleus overwinters as a larva in the pupal cells created by the
asparagus beetle larva (Johnston 1915). Though T. coeruleus is capa-
ble of both parthenogenetically and sexually reproducing, it primarily
does the latter in asparagus fields (Reumer et al. 2010). There has been
some success in augmentatively releasing T. coeruleus in the field and
greenhouse to control asparagus beetle infestations in Europe (Poll et
al. 1998). In other cases, there is a lack of successful parasitization
where T. coeruleus has been released (0.5% parasitization rate:
Hendrickson et al. 1991). This may not be typical, however, as other
studies have repeatedly found high rates of parasitization and effec-
tiveness of T. coeruleus (e.g., 40% parasitization rate: Capinera and
Fig. 4. Natural enemies found in asparagus agroecosystems. (A and B) T. coeruleus, a primary parasitoid of the asparagus beetles in the
northern United States, (C) C. maculata, the most efficient lady beetle predator of the asparagus beetle, potential predator taxa (D) carabid,
(E) syrphid, (F) nabid, (G) assassin bug, and (H) robber fly. (Photos by W. R. Morrison, III.)
4 JOURNAL OF INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT VOL. 5, NO. 3
Lilly 1975b; also see Johnston 1915, Poll et al. 1998, Capinera 2001).
In the southern United States, there is a primary larval parasitoid of the
common asparagus beetle, Paralispe infernalis (Townsend) (Diptera:
Tachinidae), which has a documented parasitism range between 2.11
and 26.39% of the beetle larvae killed in South Carolina (Watts 1938).
This tachinid is found in low abundance in northern parts of North
America (Hendrickson et al. 1991).
Additional parasitoids described from Europe for the asparagus
beetle and their rates of parasitization in the field are: Meigenia
mutabilis (Fallen) (Diptera: Tachinidae) (16.1%), Lemophagus crio-
ceritor Aubert (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) (7.9%), Diaparsis
truncatus (Gravenhorst) (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) (20%), and
Tetrastichus crioceridis Graham (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) (17.8%)
(Hendrickson et al. 1991). These parasitoids were introduced into the
United States; however, all of them failed to establish at appreciable
levels in the mid-Atlantic states (Hendrickson et al. 1991). Nonethe-
less, significant amounts of L. crioceritor were recovered from aspar-
agus fields in Quebec (8.9% parasitization rate) and Ontario (15.7%)
in Canada.
Common predators of the asparagus beetles include lady beetles,
such as Hippodamia convergens Guérin-Méneville and Coleomegilla
maculata De Geer (Fig. 4C) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), as well as
carabids (Coleoptera: Carabidae) (Fig. 4D), predatory pentatomids
(Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), assassin bugs (Hemiptera: Reduviidae)
(Fig. 4G), and nabids (Hemiptera: Nabidae) (Fig. 4F), which consume
beetle eggs and larvae (Watts 1938, Capinera and Lilly 1975a). Lady
beetle species, including C. maculata, were the drivers for the 50%
mortality of asparagus beetles in the second generation in Massachu-
setts in July (Capinera and Lilly 1975a). The spined soldier bug
(Podisus maculiventris Say) has been documented feeding on the adult
asparagus beetle (Drake and Harris 1932), and has been commonly
observed feeding on asparagus beetle larvae in the field in Massachu-
setts (Capinera and Lilly 1975a). All of these groups are predacious in
both the adult and immature stages. Certain entomopathogenic nem-
atodes kill asparagus beetle larvae, including Steinernema feltiae,
which caused up to 96% mortality in a greenhouse setting (van Schelt
and Hoogerbrugge 2008). Results from this study indicate that the
optimal rate of nematode application to asparagus is 1,250 nematodes
per ml H
2
O applied at 250 ml per asparagus plant to obtain maximum
mortality of asparagus beetle larvae. The same study recommended
that field trials with the nematodes be conducted, but there is no record
in the literature of field trials having been performed, despite the fact
that this seems like a promising avenue of control, especially for
organic asparagus production. Other common predators in asparagus
agroecosystems include soldier beetles (Coleoptera: Cantharidae),
robber flies (Diptera: Asilidae), and syrphids (Diptera: Syrphidae)
(W.R.M., unpublished data).
The only pathogen found to kill either asparagus beetle species is
Impudentia crioceris Vujanovic, which is a naturally occurring de-
matiacious hyphomycetous fungus found within asparagus fields in
Quebec, Canada (Vujanovic et al. 2003). The Cry3Aa toxin from
Bacillus thuringiensis tenebrionis has been used with some success in
combination with Beauveria bassiana to control a closely related,
morphologically similar asparagus beetle species, Crioceris quatuor-
decimpunctata Scopoli in China (Gao et al. 2012). However, there is
no evidence that anything similar has been tested for the asparagus
beetles highlighted in this profile.
There are some common cultural controls that growers can imple-
ment to reduce outbreaks of asparagus beetles. Sanitation of the area
around the asparagus fields is important. Volunteer asparagus is usu-
ally killed with herbicides or removed mechanically to eliminate
additional food resources. In addition, before the beginning of the next
growing season, plant residue is typically cleared from the field and
ideally burned to avoid enabling overwintering adults from recoloniz-
ing asparagus fields (Delahout 2005).
There is some evidence that certain asparagus cultivars have
greater resistance to feeding by asparagus beetles (Lamparski et al.
2010). For example, the German cultivar Rapsody had significantly
fewer spotted and common asparagus beetles feeding on it compared
with 10 other cultivars, whereas the Dutch variety Backlim seemed to
be the most susceptible (Lamparski et al. 2010). The same study also
found that drip irrigation often increased the number of asparagus
beetle adults feeding on summer stalks (Lamparski et al. 2010). While
asparagus plant breeding programs aimed at increased yield and
increased pathogen resistance have been extensive (e.g., Stephens et
al. 1989, Ellison et al. 1990, Dan and Stephens 1995, Pontaroli and
Camadro 2001, Motoki et al. 2005), trying to increase the resistance
of asparagus to insect pests has been largely lacking. This is an
unexplored area that merits further attention by researchers both for
the asparagus beetles (especially C. asparagi) and the other major
insect pest of asparagus, the asparagus miner (Morrison et al. 2011).
Conclusions
Asparagus beetles are wide-spread pests of commercially grown
asparagus and can be managed through a combination of scouting,
insecticide application, and biological and cultural controls in an
integrated pest management program. As a result of consistent mon-
itoring throughout the season and spraying insecticides as needed,
asparagus growers are able to keep the asparagus beetles from signif-
icantly impacting production. Short-term needs for the asparagus
growers in controlling the asparagus beetle involve the registration of
insecticides that have short reentry interval and can be used in periods
between harvesting bouts. However, ideally management approaches
involving minimizing insecticides should be pursued. There are sev-
eral long-term needs for research on the asparagus beetles (primarily
with the common asparagus beetle) that need to be explored. One of
these is elucidating the chemical ecology of the asparagus beetle to
understand the cues that are used by the species to locate its host crop,
and those of parasitoids to locate the pest. Another priority should be
investigating the use of promising nematodes and other pathogens to
induce mortality in the asparagus beetle in the field. Finally, a key
long-term need involves the improvement of biological control of
asparagus beetles, perhaps by altering the surrounding landscape to
favor the natural enemies and incorporating this into current manage-
ment programs.
Acknowledgments
This project was supported by the Agriculture and Food Research
Initiative Competitive Grant 2012-67011-19672 from the USDA Na-
tional Institute of Food and Agriculture to W.R.M. In addition,
W.R.M. was supported by a C.S. Mott Predoctoral Fellowship in
Sustainable Agriculture from the C.S. Mott Group at Michigan State
University, a Michigan Vegetable Industry Scholarship from the
Michigan Vegetable Council, and a grant from MSUE Project
GREEEN (GR10-052) through Michigan State University AgBio-
Research. Thanks to Anthony Cognato (Michigan State University)
and Bernice DeMarco for the use of their photo equipment.
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Received 14 March 2014; accepted 16 July 2014.
6 JOURNAL OF INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT VOL. 5, NO. 3
... The spotted asparagus beetle, Crioceris duodecimpunctata (L.) (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae), is a major monophagous pest of commercially grown Asparagus officinalis L. in most areas of production (LeSage et al. 2008;Morrison III and Szendrei 2014). Native to the Palearctic region (Drake and Harris 1932), mostly around the Mediterranean Sea (FGP Consortium 2014), C. duodecimpuntata was first detected outside its native range in 1881 in the United States near Baltimore, MD (Chittenden 1917). ...
... Native to the Palearctic region (Drake and Harris 1932), mostly around the Mediterranean Sea (FGP Consortium 2014), C. duodecimpuntata was first detected outside its native range in 1881 in the United States near Baltimore, MD (Chittenden 1917). Subsequently, the pest spread north and westward across Canada and the United States (LeSage et al. 2008) where it can now be found wherever asparagus is commonly grown (Capinera 2001;Morrison III and Szendrei 2014). ...
... In the spring, adult feeding on emerging asparagus spears creates small pits in the epidermis (Capinera 2001;Morrison III and Szendrei 2014) resulting in severe direct and aesthetic damage to commercial production. Later in the season, the feeding activity of C. duodecimpunctata adults and larvae on leaves causes reduction of plant photosynthetic capability reducing crop production in the subsequent year (Capinera 2001). ...
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The spotted asparagus beetle, Crioceris duodecimpunctata (L.) is an invasive host-specific pest of asparagus cultivations. To contribute to the understanding of the role of plant volatiles in host-finding by this species, behavioural and electrophysiological tests were carried out. Y-tube olfactometer bioassays, testing intact or mechanically-damaged cladophylls vs. clean air, revealed sexually-dimorphic responses with males being the only sex attracted to both plant materials. Electroantennographic (EAG) assays showed that antennae of both sexes can perceive a wide range of asparagus volatiles. Male and female EAG profiles were almost similar and (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol was by far the most EAG-active compound. (E)-2-hexenal, (±)-linalool, and 3-heptanone elicited the strongest EAG amplitude within the corresponding chemical groups. Eight of the most EAG-active compounds elicited dose-dependent responses indicating the sensitivity of male and female olfactory systems to changes in stimulus concentration. In a Y-tube olfactometer bioassay, (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol at the doses of 1, 10, and 50 μg did not elicit female attraction whereas a significant attraction at the 10 μg dose and a repellent effect at the 50 μg dose was induced in males. Sexual dimorphism of male behavioural response to host plant volatiles is discussed. This study provides a basis for future investigations that could contribute to the development of semiochemical-based monitoring and management strategies for this pest.
... There are only faunistical studies on the subfamilies Criocerinae and species of Chrysomelidae families [9,10]. Publications that are related with biological control in the world are mostly about parasitoids and predators of C. asparagi [2,11]. There are a couple records of entomopathogens of this beetle, such as bacteria and fungi, but no record of a neogregarine [11]. ...
... Publications that are related with biological control in the world are mostly about parasitoids and predators of C. asparagi [2,11]. There are a couple records of entomopathogens of this beetle, such as bacteria and fungi, but no record of a neogregarine [11]. Members of Neogregarinorida are entomopathogenic protists. ...
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A New Neogregarine Entomopathogen from Crioceris asparagi (Linne, 1758) in Turkey Abstract: In present study, a neogregarine from Crioceris asparagi is reported for the first time in Turkey. C. asparagi (common asparagus beetle) is an important pest of Asparagus officinalis L. crops in Turkey and the world. Therefore, determining of the protist pathogens of C. asparagi is aimed. During the study, a total of 1,099 C. asparagi adults were examined thoroughly using a light microscope. Insects were collected from the provinces of Manisa, Eskişehir and Balıkesir in Turkey, with 117 of them collected from Manisa, 204 of them from Balıkesir and 778 of them from Eskişehir. A neogregarine pathogen was found in Balıkesir and Manisa. Total infection rate was 18% for Balıkesir between the years 2014-2015 and 15.3% for Manisa in 2011. Oocysts of the neogregarine pathogen were observed only in malpighian tubes of C. asparagi adults. Fresh mature oocysts of the neogregarine was measured as 9.34 ± 0.74 μm (n = 50) in length and 5.27 ± 0.36 μm (n = 50) in width. Identification of entomopathogens is prerequisite for their use in biological control. Key words: A.officinalis, C. asparagi, entomopathogen, neogregarine.
... This may be in the form of genetic manipulation of the asparagus resulting in cultivars with upregulated priming ability (Aharoni et al. 2006;Dudareva and Pichersky 2008), deployment of baits with insect A c c e p t e d M a n u s c r i p t 5 herbivore-induced plant volatiles for attracting natural enemies to suppress pests (Rodriguez-Saona et al. 2011;Ali et al. 2012), or sprays that induce plants to become primed or to produce volatiles (Bruinsma et al. 2009) that attract biological control agents (Thaler 1999). However, this may also include using herbivore-induced volatiles as repellents to herbivores (De Moraes et al. 2001) Asparagus is attacked by a suite of pests (Morrison III and Szendrei 2014), but its early colonizing species include black cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon (Hufnagel), Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), variegated cutworm (Peridroma saucia Hübner, Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), and the asparagus miner (Ophiomyia simplex Loew; Diptera: Agromyzidae) (Morrison III 2014). The cutworm larvae are generalists, chewing on vegetative asparagus tissue. ...
... This may be in the form of genetic manipulation of the asparagus resulting in cultivars with upregulated priming ability (Aharoni et al. 2006;Dudareva and Pichersky 2008), deployment of baits with insect A c c e p t e d M a n u s c r i p t 5 herbivore-induced plant volatiles for attracting natural enemies to suppress pests (Rodriguez-Saona et al. 2011;Ali et al. 2012), or sprays that induce plants to become primed or to produce volatiles (Bruinsma et al. 2009) that attract biological control agents (Thaler 1999). However, this may also include using herbivore-induced volatiles as repellents to herbivores (De Moraes et al. 2001) Asparagus is attacked by a suite of pests (Morrison III and Szendrei 2014), but its early colonizing species include black cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon (Hufnagel), Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), variegated cutworm (Peridroma saucia Hübner, Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), and the asparagus miner (Ophiomyia simplex Loew; Diptera: Agromyzidae) (Morrison III 2014). The cutworm larvae are generalists, chewing on vegetative asparagus tissue. ...
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Information is lacking on the chemical ecology of asparagus, and knowledge about the effects of it's volatile emissions on its associated early season pest species is completely absent. The current study aimed to 1) evaluate whether the asparagus miner responds to asparagus volatiles, 2) identify and compare the changes in asparagus host plant volatiles from mechanical and chewing damage by the black cutworm, a temporally co-occurring species with the asparagus miner, and 3) assess how asparagus volatiles affect asparagus miner populations in the field. Results indicated that asparagus miners were significantly attracted to healthy asparagus stems when compared to clean air. Damaged asparagus headspace volatiles were quantitatively and qualitatively different from healthy plants. Volatile baits elicited a range of responses, but their effects were inconsistent between sampling years and phenology-dependent. Overall, we demonstrated that the chemical ecology of asparagus may be altered by its pest community, and volatiles identified from asparagus may impact the behavior of the asparagus miner.
... Two species Crioceris duodecimpunctata (Linnaeus, 1758)) and C. asparagi are serious pests of Asparagus officinalis both in Europe and North America (Warchałowski, 1985;Morrison & Szendrei, 2014). Both species are widely distributed in Eurasia and North America, C. asparagi was introduced in Argentina and Tanzania (Le Sage et al., 2008;Schmitt, 2010, Morrison & Szendrey, 2014. Northern border of distribution range of C. asparagi is extended more to the South than that of C. duodesimpunctata (Warchałowski, 1985). ...
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The current report presents information on new records of Crioceris asparagi (Linnaeus, 1758) (Coleoptera; Chrysomelidae) in Lithuania. This species was known only from old records going as far back as the middle of nineteen century till 2011. The recent records of C. asparagi suggest the presence of viable population of this species in southwestern part of the country.
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The aim of this research was to select asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) cultivars with high quality, high yield, good day's elongation of spear, high tolerance to diseases, spear head tightness and a good adaptation to cold areas of Japan. The comparative trial, established at Nagano Vegetable and Ornamental Crops Experimental Station, included 17 green cultivars. On a yearly basis the following traits were scored: spear yield, spear head tightness and commercial characteristics of the spear; number, height and size of the stem, weight of the canopy, a day's elongation of spears, disease tolerance, earliness of spear emergence in the spring. Based on three years of spear yield data and plant characteristics and disease tolerance, the cultivars 'Grande', 'Jersey Giant', 'NJ953', 'Gijnlim' and the Japanese experimental hybrid '0008G2' were considered to be the most promising. 'Gijnlim' showed problems with spear head tightness for summer and autumn harvests.
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Impudentia crioceris gen. et sp. nov., a new dematiaceous hyphomycetous fungus (mitosporic fungi) is described and illustrated. It occurs on two Crioceris species: Crioceris asparagi and C. duodecimpunctata (Coleoptera : Chrysomelidae), insects from asparagus fields in Québec, Canada,. It is unique in producing two types of dark, aseptate macroconidia with an elongated germ slit holoblastically from dark brown, cylindrical conidiogenous cells or from undifferentiated cells on brownish hyphae or stromata. Impudentia is compared with Arthrinium, Gilmaniella, Mammaria, Chalara, Wardomyces and Yinmingella.