Submitted to: Biological Control: A Guide to Natural Enemies in North America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/9/2011
Publication Date: 3/10/2011
Citation: Weber, D.C., Riddick, E.W. 2011. Lebia grandis (Coleoptera: Carabidae). Biological Control: A Guide to Natural Enemies in North America. http://www.biocontrol.entomology.cornell.edu/predators/Lebia.html.
Technical Abstract: Lebia species number over 450 and the genus is cosmopolitan, with 47 in North America. Adults typically seek prey in plant canopies, and all known larvae are ectoparasitoids of chrysomelid beetle pupae, yet only 2 species’ hosts have been documented in North America. Lebia grandis is a predator and parasitoid of Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), a major pest of potato, eggplant, and tomato, and false potato beetle (Leptinotarsa juncta), a minor pest of eggplant. Many additional Lebia species are reported to be associated with specific chrysomelids, particularly flea beetles (Alticinae). L. grandis was introduced to France in the 1930s, and its parasitoid life history discovered, as part of a US-French classical biocontrol program. Since the carabid was originally described from North Carolina in 1830, over 60 years before Colorado beetle arrived there, its putative original host was the false potato beetle, the only Leptinotarsa present. There is interest in future classical biocontrol because of the apparent host specificity, and the fact that the adults are the most voracious predators known on eggs and larvae of Colorado potato beetle. Lebia adults are typically found in close association with their host species, and females oviposit in close proximity to the host pupal habitat, in the case of L. grandis, the soil below infested host plants.