Pennsylvania Flea Beetle

Flea beetles (as you may guess after seeing those big, folded, hoppy hind legs) are known for their prodigious jump. In general, they aggravate gardeners by making holes in leaves. This particular species, the Pennsylvania flea beetle (Disonycha pensylvanica) however, prefers wetland areas and not eating human crops.

This ~5mm beetle has a black head, reddish-to-black legs, and a reddish-to-yellowish pronotum with a single black spot in the middle. I keep seeing references call the stripes on the pronotum and elytra “pale” or even “white” but they look like someone’s taken a gold Sharpie to it, don’t they?

Even though you’d think the Latin name of the Pennsylvania flea beetle would be spelled like the name of the state, pensylvanica is the correct spelling.

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