Vol. 4, Issue 1 (2019)
Emerging trend in host utilization and dispersal capacity of flea beetles in ecologically disturbed population
Author(s): Audi AH, Adejo EE, Fatima SH, Abubakar AA
Abstract: Flea beetles are major common pests of many vegetable crops. They usually damage flowers, shrubs and trees. The small plants and seedlings are particularly susceptible. Flea beetles are confronted with an arsenal of constitutive and inducible chemical plant defenses in which the plants serve as their source of food (Host). To maintain host utilization, it avoids deleterious effects from plant toxins, by developing biochemical adaptation which allows them to deal with these metabolites. Most adult flea beetle damage is unique in appearance. They feed by chewing a small hole (often smaller than 1/8 inch) in a leaf, moving a short distance, then chewing another hole and so on. The flea beetles usually move by walking or flying but when in ecologically disturbed population if alarmed they can jump to a considerable distance (i.e. dispersal capacity). Possible challenges of the control of these flea beetles were reviewed especially the behavioral and biochemical adaptation developed by flea beetle in the process of host utilization and also various ways of improving the situation. To manage flea beetle effectively, producers should use an integrated pest management (IPM).