Skip to content

Liu, J., Liao, J. and Li, C., 2022. Bottom‐up effects of drought on the growth and development of potato, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say and Arma chinensis Fallou. Pest Management Science, 78(10), pp.4353-4360.


Global climate change will result in increasingly arid weather that will have a significant impact on agriculture. The occurrence dynamics of plants, phytophagous insects and their natural enemies under drought conditions have attracted much attention. The consequences could be useful for controlling insect herbivores. Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) is one of the most important pests of potato, and causes serious damage to potato production. Arma chinensis (Fallou) is a parasitoid of L. decemlineata. However, how drought will affect tritrophic interactions between potato and these insects remains unknown.


In this experiment, L. decemlineata and A. chinensis were released onto potato plants under water stress. Thereafter, plant height, stem diameter and yield of potato, growth and reproduction of L. decemlineata, and the longevity of A. chinensis adults were periodically recorded. The results showed that drought had crucial effects on height, stem diameter and yield of potato (p < 0.05); it also had a significant impact on pre-oviposition period, oviposition days, fecundity and life table parameters in L. decemlineata (p < 0.05). Moreover, drought significantly reduced the longevity (p < 0.05) and survival rate of A. chinensis adults. The longevity of adult A. chinensis was only 29.00 ± 3.00 days and the harvest rate of L. decemlineata adults was only 1.42% ± 0.07% under drought treatment.


In this experiment, we evaluate the bottom-up effects of drought on tritrophic interactions involving potato, L. decemlineata and A. chinensis, and discuss the implications of the findings for integrated pest management programs involving the pest. Promising future research directions are proposed.

Liao, J., Liu, J. and Li, C., 2022. Effects of Repeated Short-Term Heat Exposure on Life History Traits of Colorado Potato Beetle. Insects, 13(5), 455.

The Colorado potato beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) is an internationally recognized destructive pest which has caused serious losses to the potato industry. To clarify the impact of repeated short-term heat exposure on CPB egg hatching and adult fecundity under climate change, CPB eggs and adults were treated with repeated short-term heat exposure in this study. We found that the hatching rate of CPB eggs, the total number of eggs laid per female, the oviposition period, the intrinsic rate of population increase (rm), finite rate of increase (λ), and the net reproductive rate (R0) of CPBs decreased with increasing temperature. The hatching rate and fecundity of CPBs were significantly lower than those of control (CK) after repeated short-term heat exposure. Our research has found that repeated short-term heat exposure is not conducive to the development and reproduction of CPBs.


Liao, J., Liu, J., Guan, Z. and Li, C., 2021. Duration of low temperature exposure affects egg hatching of the Colorado potato beetle and emergence of overwintering adults. Insects, 12(7), 609.

The Colorado potato beetle is a serious pest of Solanaceae in China. In early summer, cold spells in later spring may occur for brief periods in the field environmental conditions, and temperatures often deviate far below the normal temperature for short periods, such as sudden short-term low temperature, may affect the development of Colorado potato beetle eggs. This paper studies the effects of low temperature stress at 8 °C for 0 d, 1 d, 3 d, 5 d, 7 d, and 10 d on the development of Colorado potato beetle eggs. Our results show that egg survival is significantly affected by short-term low temperature exposure. The percentage of eggs hatched is significantly affected by different treatment times (p = 0.000)—the percentage of eggs hatched decreases with increased treatment time, and Colorado potato beetles will extend the wintering time of their soil to resist the effects of lower temperatures. Thus, exposure of Colorado potato beetles to a short-term low temperature affects their emergence and population growth; this study could provide information for the occurrence, monitoring, and early warning of Colorado potato beetle during short-term temperature.

Cohen, Z. P., K. Brevik, Y. H. Chen, D. J. Hawthorne, B. D. Weibel, and S. D. Schoville. Molecular Ecology

Contextualizing evolutionary history and identifying genomic features of an insect that might contribute to its pest status is important in developing early detection and control tactics. In order to understand the evolution of pestiferousness, which we define as the accumulation of traits that contribute to an insect population's success in an agroecosystem, we tested the importance of known genomic properties associated with rapid adaptation in the Colorado potato beetle (CPB), Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say. Within the leaf beetle genus Leptinotarsa, only CPB, and a few populations therein, has risen to pest status on cultivated nightshades, Solanum. Using whole genomes from ten closely related Leptinotarsa species native to the United States, we reconstructed a high‐quality species tree and used this phylogenetic framework to assess evolutionary patterns in four genomic features of rapid adaptation: standing genetic variation, gene family expansion and contraction, transposable element abundance and location, and positive selection at protein‐coding genes. Throughout approximately 20 million years of history, Leptinotarsa species show little evidence of gene family turnover and transposable element variation. However, there is a clear pattern of CPB experiencing higher rates of positive selection on protein‐coding genes. We determine that these rates are associated with greater standing genetic variation due to larger effective population size, which supports the theory that the demographic history contributes to rates of protein evolution. Furthermore, we identify a suite of coding genes under positive selection that are putatively associated with pestiferousness in the Colorado potato beetle lineage. They are involved in the biological processes of xenobiotic detoxification, chemosensation and hormone function.

Kadoić Balaško M, Mikac KM, Bažok R, Lemic D. 2020. Insects. 11(9):581

Colorado potato beetle, CPB (Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say), is one of the most important pests of the potato globally. Larvae and adults can cause complete defoliation of potato plant leaves and can lead to a large yield loss. The insect has been successfully suppressed by insecticides; however, over time, has developed resistance to insecticides from various chemical groups, and its once successful control has diminished. The number of available active chemical control substances is decreasing with the process of testing, and registering new products on the market are time-consuming and expensive, with the possibility of resistance ever present. All of these concerns have led to the search for new methods to control CPB and efficient tools to assist with the detection of resistant variants and monitoring of resistant populations. Current strategies that may aid in slowing resistance include gene silencing by RNA interference (RNAi). RNAi, besides providing an efficient tool for gene functional studies, represents a safe, efficient, and eco-friendly strategy for CPB control. Genetically modified (GM) crops that produce the toxins of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have many advantages over agro-technical, mechanical, biological, and chemical measures. However, pest resistance that may occur and public acceptance of GM modified food crops are the main problems associated with Bt crops. Recent developments in the speed, cost, and accuracy of next generation sequencing are revolutionizing the discovery of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and field of population genomics. There is a need for effective resistance monitoring programs that are capable of the early detection of resistance and successful implementation of integrated resistance management (IRM). The main focus of this review is on new technologies for CPB control (RNAi) and tools (SNPs) for detection of resistant CPB populations.

Weber, D.C., Duan, J.J. & Haber, A.I. 2020 J Pest Sci

For Colorado potato beetle, an integrated approach including semiochemicals and other nonpesticidal tactics is essential to sustainable management. A volatile aggregation pheromone produced by male adult beetles is attractive to both females and males. Yet earlier research also indicates that males respond to a yet-unidentified female-produced sex pheromone. We investigated male Colorado potato beetle behavior on potato plants that had been exposed to females only, males only, mixed-sex groups, or no beetles (clean plants). During observation, these plants hosted no beetles except for the single experimental male beetle. These males (previously mated or unmated) responded very differently to female-exposed plants, spending longer time on these plants, undertaking characteristic active searching behavior, exploring more leaves per plant, and moving more rapidly between leaves, compared to male-exposed or unexposed plants. When presented with a three-way choice, males spent about five times longer on the female-exposed foliage, compared to either male-exposed or clean leaves. Searching parameters differed between mated and unmated males, but both showed similar reactions to female-exposed plants; there was little to no statistical interaction between male mated condition and plant treatment. Results strongly indicate the presence of a persistent female-produced pheromone significantly influencing male searching behavior and between-plant movement.

Hunt ER, J., Rondon SI.  Journal of Applied Remote Sensing. 2017;11(2):026013.

Colorado potato beetle (CPB) adults and larvae devour leaves of potato and other solanaceous crops and weeds, and may quickly develop resistance to pesticides. With early detection of CPB damage, more options are available for precision integrated pest management, which reduces the amount of pesticides applied in a field. Remote sensing with small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) has potential for CPB detection because low flight altitudes allow image acquisition at very high spatial resolution. A five-band multispectral sensor and up-looking incident light sensor were mounted on a six-rotor sUAS, which was flown at altitudes of 60 and 30 m in June 2014. Plants went from visibly undamaged to having some damage in just 1 day. Whole-plot normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and the number of pixels classified as damaged (0.70 ≤ NDVI ≤0.80) were not correlated with visible CPB damage ranked from least to most. Area of CPB damage estimated using object-based image analysis was highly correlated to the visual ranking of damage. Furthermore, plant height calculated using structure-from-motion point clouds was related to CPB damage, but this method required extensive operator intervention for success. Object-based image analysis has potential for early detection based on high spatial resolution sUAS remote sensing.