Epilachna varivestis

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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Hexapoda (including Insecta)
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Coccinellidae
Genus: Epilachna
Species: E. varivestis
Scientific Name
Epilachna varivestis
Mulsant, 1850
Common Names

Mexican bean beetle

Author: Dr. Phillip Roberts, Dr. Paul Guillebeau, University of Georgia


Order Coleoptera: Famly Coccinellidae


Adults are oval in shape and orange to copper-colored with eight black spots on each wing cover. They resemble lady beetles and ar one of three coccinellid species which are plant feeders. Adults are about 6 to 8.5 mm in length. Larvae reach a maximum length of 9 mm; are yellow, soft, and grublike; and are covered with six rows of dark, branched spines.


Soybean and other legumes, including many varieties of beans, alfalfa, clover, cowpeas, beggarweed, and kudzu.


On soybeans larvae and adults cause injury by feeding on the surface of leaf tissues. The tissue that remains gives the leaf a lacy appearance. Damaged tissue will die and turn brown.

Life Cycle

Adults overwinter in plant debris and other protected places and emerge when surrounding temperatures reach 50 degrees. Because temperatures will vary by overwintering location, emergence occurs for several weeks. Adults live for about six weeks, and females lay several hundred yellow-orange, elliptical eggs in groups of 40 to 60 on the undersides of leaves. Eggs hatch in about a week (depending on temperature), and larvae feed 2 to 4 weeks. Last instar larvae attach their abdominal end to a leaf and pupate. The pupation period last 5 to 10 days. There are 3 to 4 generations each year.


Treat based on defoliation thresholds. Soybean treatment thresholds:

  • Prior to full bloom: defoliation reaches 30 percent.
  • Full bloom until mid pod-fill: defoliation reaches 15 percent.
  • After full pod-fill: defoliation reaches 25 percent.

Originally compiled from

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