Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Mexican Bean Beetle, Epilachna varivestris Mulsant (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

  • John L. Capinera
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_4587

Mexican bean beetle is native to Mexico and Central America. By the 1800s it was damaging to beans throughout the southwestern United States, wherever beans were cultivated. A major increase in damage followed the accidental transport of Mexican bean beetle to the eastern United States, to northern Alabama about 1918, apparently in shipments of alfalfa hay from Colorado and New Mexico. The beetle, once gaining access to eastern states, spread rapidly to the northeast, and is now found throughout much of the United States and eastern Canada.

Host Plants

Mexican bean beetle develops only on legumes. Other plants are occasionally reported injured. Vegetable crops eaten are cowpea, lima bean, and snap bean, particularly the latter two bean types. Related crops such as faba bean, lentil, and mung bean seem to be immune. Field crops that may be attacked include alfalfa, sweet clover, various dry beans, and soybean. Formerly the field crops other than dry beans were relatively unsuitable and...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Auclair JL (1959) Life history, effects of temperature and relative humidity, and distribution of the Mexican bean beetle, Epilachna varivestris Mulsant (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), in Quebec, with a review of the pertinent literature in North America. Ann Entomol Soc Quebec 5:18–43Google Scholar
  2. Capinera JL (2001) Handbook of vegetable pests. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, 729 ppGoogle Scholar
  3. Friend WG, Turner N (1931) The Mexican bean beetle in Connecticut. Conn Agr Exp Stat Bull 332:108Google Scholar
  4. List GM (1921) The Mexican bean beetle. Colorado Agr Exp Stat Bull 271:58Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • John L. Capinera
    • 1
  1. 1.University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA