Pumpkin beetle






Aulacophora hilaris

Banded pumpkin beetle / Plain pumpkin beetle (Aulacophora abdominalis)


There are two species of pumpkin beetle. Aulacophora hilaris is orange with four large spots on its elytra (wing casings) whereas Aulacophora abdominalis is a plain solid orange. They are slightly larger and more elongate than a lady beetle. The larvae are a pale cream grub, 10-12 mm long, and feed on roots.

Adult size: 6-7 mm

Out and about

They are mainly active during the hotter months. They are found in Africa, Asia and Australia. In Australia A. hilaris occurs in the eastern parts whereas A. abdominalis is less widespread in the tropics.

Reproduction and Life cycle

The eggs are laid in small clusters in the soil where the larvae live until emerging as adults.

To deter

- Mulching may deter the female from laying her eggs - Cover seedlings until they are established (though last season’s beetles may have already laid their eggs in the soil)

To control

- Spray with pyrethrum - Spray with neem oil - Manage weeds - They are attracted to yellow, so using sticky traps may help to control them - Lightly tilling the soil may get rid of eggs and larva

Plants to repel

Plants to attract


Spiders / Soldier beetle Some ground beetles will eat eggs and larvae Tachinid fly and braconid wasp will parasitise the beetle and the eggs.
Why they are a Pest
They are leaf and flower eating insects that prefer plants of the Curcurbitaceae family (melons, cucumbers, squash, zucchini).