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In New South Wales, the pumpkin beetle (Aulacophora) is a pest of melons, cucumbers, pumpkins and related plants. It can cause damage in coastal areas, but is more prevalent inland, where it is a regular pest of early crops.
The plants arc attacked in all stages of growth. Young plants may be destroyed in a few hours, but older plants, at the running stage, can usually outgrow the infestation. The flowers and young fruits of pumpkins and squashes may also be attacked.
The life history of this beetle under natural conditions has not been studied. Eggs have been laid on moist soil and the larva have been found on the roots and stems of pumpkins. The pupal stage is passed in the soil. Beetles have been known to live for about nine months, and females, over a period of several months, to lay up to 500 eggs.