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Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata)

Beetle facing camera while perched on a green leaf in front of an all-black background. Beetle is glossy medium orange on its head and thorax, with dark eyes and dark spots. The beetle's wing covers are glossy yellow with black stripes running front to back.

A study evaluating one of the first insecticides developed to use RNA interference as a mode of action finds significant effects on mobility, pupation, and reproduction of the target insect, the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata). The biopesticide, known as ledprona, inhibits the expression of an enzyme in the beetles that facilitates the breakdown of proteins. With this enzyme inhibited, metabolites accumulate, which, if allowed to continue, eventually leads to mortality. Researchers say the new insecticide could be a useful component of a combined integrated pest management program for this species. (Photo by Peggy Greb, USDA Agricultural Research Service,

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