There are hundreds of different species of flea beetles and most of them are
very specialized in their selection of plants on which to feed. For
example, in your organic garden, you probably have the crucifer flea beetle,
Phyllotreta cruciferae, which specializes on plants in the cabbage family.
If you grow eggplant, you probably have the eggplant flea beetle, Epitrix
fuscula, a specialist on eggplant and a few other species of solanaceous
plants. You may also have the potato flea beetle, Epitrix cucumeris, also a
specialist on Solanaceae.
Thus, you shouldn't assume that the flea beetles on leafy spurge would be
likely to feed on anything in your garden. You probably are not growing
close relatives of this spurge in your garden.
There is, however, a lively debate about the biological control of weeds,
and whether the natural enemies of weeds have been adequately tested for
their effects on all the closely related native plant species, including in
some cases, endangered species of plants.
I am surprised that they could do the distribution in the way described,
because there is usually considerable paperwork involved in moving insects
across state lines. Perhaps this species has reached the point where it has
cleared the bureaucratic hurdles.
From: Mark <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Date: Wednesday, June 23, 1999 3:57 PM
Subject: Re:flea beetles
>Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't these the same beetles that chomp up my
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