Insects Feeding on 
Sunflowers (Helianthus spp.)

Insect Species
Scientific Name &
Common Name (if any)
Insect Family
Haplorhynchites aeneus* ***
(Sunflower Head-clipping Weevil)
Attelabidae
(Leaf-rolling Weevils)
Apion occidentale*
(Black Sunflower Stem Weevil)
Brentidae
(Primitive Weevils)
Ataxia hubbardi* Cerambycidae
(Long-horned Beetles)
Dectes texanus*
(Soybean Stem Borer)
Cerambycidae
(Long-horned Beetles)
Mecas cana saturnina* Cerambycidae
(Long-horned Beetles)
Brachypnoea clypealis Chrysomelidae
(Leaf Beetles)
Exema dispar Chrysomelidae
(Leaf Beetles)
Microrhopala rileyi Chrysomelidae
(Leaf Beetles)
Ophraella communa Chrysomelidae
(Leaf Beetles)
Physonota helianthi
(Sunflower Tortoise Beetle)
Chrysomelidae
(Leaf Beetles)
Systena blanda**
(Pale-striped Flea Beetle)
Chrysomelidae
(Leaf Beetles)
Trirhabda adela Chrysomelidae
(Leaf Beetles)
Zygogramma exclamationis
(Sunflower Beetle)
Chrysomelidae
(Leaf Beetles)
Baris strenua**
(Sunflower Root Weevil)
Curculionidae
(Weevils)
Cylindrocopturus adspersus*
(Sunflower Stem Weevil)
Curculionidae
(Weevils)
Lixus concavus*
(Rhubarb Weevil)
Curculionidae
(Weevils)
Rhodobaenus quinquepunctatus
(Five-spotted Billbug)
Curculionidae
(Weevils)
Rhodobaenus tredecimpunctatus
(Thirteen-spotted Billbug)
Curculionidae
(Weevils)
Smicronyx fulvus***
(Red Sunflower Seed Weevil)
Curculionidae
(Weevils)
Smicronyx sordidus***
(Gray Sunflower Seed Weevil)
Curculionidae
(Weevils)
 Euphoria inda
(Bumble Flower Beetle)
 Scarabaeidae
(Scarab Beetles)
 Phyllophaga lanceolata  Scarabaeidae
(Scarab Beetles)
Asphondylia helianthiglobulus*
(Sunflower Stem Gall Midge)
Cecidomyiidae
(Gall Flies)
Asphondylia rudbeckiaeconspicua* ***
(Coneflower Gall Midge)
Cecidomyiidae
(Gall Flies)
Contarinia schulzi***
(Sunflower Midge)
Cecidomyiidae
(Gall Flies)
Neolasioptera helianthi***
(Sunflower Seed Midge)
Cecidomyiidae
(Gall Flies)
Neolasioptera thurstoni*
(Sunflower Stem Gall Midge)
Cecidomyiidae
(Gall Flies)
Pilodiplosis helianthibulla
(Sunflower Bullet Gall Midge)
Cecidomyiidae
(Gall Flies)
Neotephritis finalis***
(Sunflower Seed Maggot)
Tephritidae
(Fruit Flies)
Strauzia longipennis*
(Sunflower Stem Maggot)
Tephritidae
(Fruit flies)
Aphis debilicornis Aphididae
(Aphids)
Aphis helianthi
(Sunflower Aphid)
Aphididae
(Aphids)
Brachycaudus helichrysi
(Leafcurl Plum Aphid)
Aphididae
(Aphids)
Pleotrichophorus ohiensis Aphididae
(Aphids)
Uroleucon illini Aphididae
(Aphids)
Uroleucon rurale Aphididae
(Aphids)
Clastoptera xanthocephala
(Sunflower Spittlebug)
Cercopidae
(Spittlebugs)
Mesamia nigridorsum Cicadellidae
(Leafhoppers)
Mesamia straminea Cicadellidae
(Leafhoppers)
Acutalis tartarea Membracidae
(Treehoppers)
Entylia bactriana Membracidae
(Treehoppers)
Stictocephala lutea Membracidae
(Treehoppers)
Ilnacora malina
(Green Plant Bug)
Miridae
(Plant Bugs)
Ilnacora stalii
(Dotted Green Plant Bug)
Miridae
(Plant Bugs)
Plagiognathus nigronitens Miridae
(Plant Bugs)
Polymerus basalis Miridae
(Plant Bugs)
Contarinia schulzi
(Sunflower Midge)***
Cecidomyiidae
(Gall Flies)
Neotephritis finalis***
(Sunflower Seed Maggot)
Tephritidae
(Fruit Flies)
Strauzia longipennis*
(Sunflower Maggot)
Tephritidae
(Fruit Flies)
Hesperotettix viridis
(Meadow Purple-striped Grasshopper)
Acrididae
(Grasshoppers)
Melanoplus angustipennis
(Narrow-winged Sand Grasshopper)
Acrididae
(Grasshoppers)
Melanoplus flavidus
(Yellowish Grasshopper)
Acrididae
(Grasshoppers)
Melanoplus packardii
(Packard's Grasshopper)
Acrididae
(Grasshoppers)
Sparagemon collare
(Mottled Sand Grasshopper)
Acrididae
(Grasshoppers)
Heterothrips auranticornis Thripidae
(Thrips)

*larvae bore through stems, **larvae bore through roots
***larvae feed on florets or seeds, larvae form galls on leaves

Note: Lepidoptera are excluded from this table.

Sources: Cranshaw (2004), Yanega (1996), Clark et al. (2004), Vaurie (1983),
Milne & Milne (1980), Felt (1917), Marshall (2006), Knight (1941),
Wheeler et al. (1983), Hottes & Frison (1931), Blackman & Eastop (2013),
Hamilton (1982), Panzer et al. (2006), Dennis (1952), Brust et al. (2008),
Vickery & Kevan (1985), Stannard (1968)

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