University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

Mystery Bug Answers

Mystery Picture #23

Mystery Picture #23

(Mystery Pictures)(Mystery Pictures)


The spotted cucumber beetle is a 1/4 inch long yellow-green insect with 12 black spots on its back. It overwinters as an adult in protected areas near buildings, in fence rows, or in wood lots. The adult feeds on foliage, pollen and flowers of cucumbers, muskmelons and watermelons. The larvae of this insect live in the soil and feed on plant stems and roots. This insect can be a serious economic concern because it carries bacteria in its gut that causes bacterial wilt of cucurbits (cucumbers, for example). The wilt disease causes plants to die almost overnight.

There are several different cucumber beetles--see EntFact 311, Cucumber Beetles to learn more about them. Also,see riddle number 41 for a little verse about this insect.


extra mystery hintThe Eastern tent caterpillar is an important pest of shade trees. It prefers wild cherry, apple and crabapple, but will feed on ash, birch, blackgum, redgum, willow, witch-hazel, maple, oak, poplar, cherry, peach and plum. This insect overwinters as an egg. It hatches in the spring and the small caterpillars form a silken tent in a branch fork. The larvae leave the tent only to feed on surrounding foliage.

This photo was obtained from the CD: G.K. Douce, et al., 1995, Forest Insects and Their Damage Vol. I and II, Southern Cooperative Series Bulletin No. 383-December 1995, Southern Forest Insect Work Conference SERA-IEG-12. This is a copyrighted image. It may be copied and used, in whole or in part, for any non-profit educational purpose provided that all reproductions bear an appropriate copyright notice. Any commercial or other use of the images requires written permission of the SFIWC and the individual photographer or organization.

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