Species name

Diabrotica pulchella Jacquelin-du-Val 1857: 307; as Phyllobrotica


Type locality



Type depository




Body length 6.3-6.5 mm, width 3.1-3.7 mm. Head basic color black. Antennae filiform, bi- or tricolored, antennomeres 1-3 yellow, antennomeres 4-8 gradually infuscated, antennomeres 9-10 uniformly light cadmium, antennomere 11 dark apically. Maxillary palpi black, yellow, chestnut, yellow ocher or amber brown, labrum black or chestnut. Pronotum yellow, mustard yellow or light cadmium, subquadrate, weakly bifoveate, with wide shallow foveae, not shagreened. Scutellum yellow, amber yellow or yellow ocher. Elytra yellow or rufous, with two metallic black blue bands, one basal and one behind the middle. The last one is usually interrupted in sutural area, so two large round macula are behind the middle of elytra. Epipleura completely yellow, sutural angle of elytron round, punctation scattered, fine. Abdomen yellow or yellow ocher. Legs yellow or yellow ocher. Aedeagus symmetric, with five internal sac sclerites.


Known distribution

Mexico, Honduras, Cuba


Host plants




Smith and Lawrence (1967) have not been able to identify the type specimens of D. pulchella . They presumed the type is missing. Nevertheless, D. pulchella has been well described by Jacquelin-du-Val (1857) and then Suffrian (1867). Jacquelin-du-Val provided the color image allowing to recognize the species. We examined male specimens of D. pulchella from Cuba with typical coloration pattern and we treat these males as the males of D. pulchella. The specimens with typical coloration pattern and the same shape of internal sac armament from Mexico and Honduras are in Allard collection in MNHN and in USNM collection. Thus, we assume the species D. pulchella is distributed not only in Cuba, but also in continental America.


Potential problems with identification

Diabrotica pulchella (Jacquelin-du-Val) is very similar to D. godmani Jacoby. They can be separated by the following features: Diabrotica godmani is smaller in size, antennae of D. godmani are thinner and longer, slightly moniliform, usually bearing the longitudinal costae on the inner margin of antennomeres, posterior maculae are transverse in D. godmani, but round in D. pulchella. Internal sac in D. pulchella is very similar to D. circulata Harold. The internal sac sclerite 5B is elongate handle-like hook, bearing 2-3 big teeth apically in D. pulchella, but elongate handle-like hook slightly widened apically and bearing 5-8 big teeth apically in D. circulata. Antennae are yellow in D. circulata, but bicolored in D. pulchella; posterior maculae on elytra are sickle-shaped or oculate in in D. circulata, while usually round in D. pulchella.