Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Reed, T. Jack

Committee Member

H. Nagel, H. David

Committee Member

Musser, R. Fred

Committee Member

Little, D. Randall

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Entomology and Plant Pathology

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology


The spotted cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi Barber) is regarded as a pest of sweetpotatoes in Mississippi; however, its feeding on sweetpotatoes has not previously been documented. They are attracted to cucurbit crops that could be utilized as a trap crop or sentinel plant for management of cucumber beetles in sweetpotatoes. Studies were conducted between 2006 and 2008 to determine if cucurbit plants have the potential to serve as a trap crop or as sentinel plants for the spotted cucumber beetle in sweetpotato fields, and to determine the status of the spotted cucumber beetle as a sweetpotato pest in Mississippi. Cucurbit plants showed some potential to serve as a trap crop or sentinel plant for the spotted cucumber beetle, however, sweetpotato damage assumed to be caused by cucumber beetle larvae did not correlate with the number of adults captured. Spotted cucumber beetle larvae can feed and survive on sweetpotato roots.