Cereal Leaf Beetle

Oulema melanopus

Cereal leaf beetle
Cereal leaf beetle. Photo courtesy of Kamil Gwozdz. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
These small beetles are native to Europe and Asia but immigrated to the United States in the 1960s. They are a potentially severe pest of wheat and oats but also attack barley and rye.
Cereal leaf beetles have a black head and wing covers with a orange or red thorax andlegs. They are about 3/16" in length.
Cereal leaf beetle on a corn leaf
Cereal leaf beetle on a corn leaf. Photo courtesy of Amada44. Licensed under CC BY 3.0.
Larvae are yellow or brown in appearance and look almost like a slug. They are usually covered in feces.
Cereal leaf beetles
Insecticides are available to control cereal leaf beetles. They are most effective against the larval stage of the pest early in the season. Always read and follow all label instructions.