This website is created by Andrei Alyokhin, Associate Professor of Applied Entomology at the University of Maine. Not counting a short-but-memorable two-year post-doctoral gig in Hawaii, I have been working with the Colorado potato beetle since I first entered the graduate program at the University of Massachusetts in 1994. For a while, I have maintained several web pages about this insect on university servers, but finally decided to open a separate domain specifically dedicated to this rather amazing creature.
This project has two main purposes. First, I believe that having such a resource will be of use to a variety of people interested in managing this pest. Entomologists might find the searchable bibliography to be helpful in their investigations. Farmers and crop consultants may want to check out the section on chemical control and insecticide resistance. Gardeners concerned about damage to their potatoes, tomatoes, or eggplants may look through the overview and links to other resources to answer at least some of their questions.
Secondly, I view this website as a tribute of sorts to this in many regards outstanding organism. Over the years, I could not help developing a somewhat grudging respect for the Colorado potato beetle. Humans, with our supposedly superior intelligence, have been trying to defeat this small and rather dumb animal for over 150 years. The weapons ranged from deadly chemicals to plagues of disease and parasites, and from flame throwers to genetically engineered chimeras. Yet, our ten-striped nemesis still represents a major threat to solanaceous crops. So, I salute you, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, for keeping me gainfully employed for the years to come.
I hope that this website will become a community effort, and welcome comments and contributions. If you know a reference that is missing from the bibliography database, or a website that is worth linking to, or have a Colorado potato beetle-related experience worth sharing with others, by all means drop me an e-mail.
Copyright 2008 Andrei Alyokhin