Four cultivars of lettuce, Lactuca sativa L., were evaluated for their resistance to the adult banded cucumber beetle, Diabrotica balteata LeConte, under laboratory conditions. When paired with each of the other three cultivars, leaf consumption in all possible combinations of short-term (48 h) two-choice tests among the cultivars was significantly reduced only for 'Valmaine'. However, in a 48-h no-choice situation, beetles fed Valmaine or 'Short Guzmaine' had similarly low leaf consumption, followed by 'Parris White', with the greatest consumption occurring on 'Tall Guzmaine'. In longer term experiments, female beetles fed Valmaine for 10, 13, or 16 d generally had lower survival and the lowest body weights compared with beetles fed any of the other three cultivars. No mature eggs were found in the ovaries of females fed Valmaine, whereas from 14% (Short Guzmaine, day 10) to 100% (Tall Guzmaine, day 13) of females fed the other cultivars produced mature eggs. In a starvation test, most D. balteata of either sex did not survive after 7 d with access only to water. Moreover, starved females did not produce mature eggs. Thus, food consumption by adult D. balteata is very important to their survival and reproductive performance, and it is likely that females fed Valmaine failed to produce mature eggs because they did not consume a sufficient amount of this cultivar. However, because Valmaine-fed beetles maintained their body weight and lived significantly longer than starved beetles, it appears that they can obtain some nourishment from their limited feeding on this cultivar. Overall, these results suggest that Valmaine, and to a lesser extent short Guzmaine (a cultivar produced by crossing Valmaine with two other cultivars), exhibit antixenosis-based resistance against D. balteata.