Pygmy mangold beetles mainly attack beets and sugar beets.
Scientific name: Atomaria linearis
Greek name: Ατομάρια
The feeding activity of the insect above and below the surface of the soil, causes small round holes, which then turn black within a few hours. These are also gateways for fungi to enter. Severely damaged seedlings die, so that empty spaces appear in the field. In wet weather, the bites are caused above the soil surface on the cotyledons and beet tops of the young beet. As the affected leaves grow, they are torn.
Pygmy mangold beetles larvae is up to 3 mm long, elongated in shape, whitish in color and hairy.
The adults (beetles) are 1 mm long, light brown in color at first, darkening later, and bear snout-like, thick antennae.
Pygmy mangold beetles mainly hibernate in the previous year’s beet fields and from there, in cool weather, they migrate to new fields after sowing. In warm weather they move from field to field by flying.