Leaf beetle

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The insects of the beetle family Chrysomelidae are commonly known as leaf beetles, and include over 37,000 (and probably at least 50,000) species in more than 2,500 genera, making up one of the largest and most commonly encountered of all beetle families. Numerous subfamilies are recognized, but the precise taxonomy and systematics are likely to change with ongoing research.

Leaf beetles are partially recognizable by their tarsal formula, which appears to be 4-4-4, but is actually 5-5-5 as the fourth tarsal segment is very small and hidden by the third.[2] As with many taxa, no single character defines the Chrysomelidae; instead, the family is delineated by a set of characters.[3] Some lineages are only distinguished with difficulty from longhorn beetles (family Cerambycidae), namely by the antennae not arising from frontal tubercles.

Adult and larval leaf beetles feed on all sorts of plant tissue, and all species are fully herbivorous. Many are serious pests of cultivated plants, for example the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), the asparagus beetle (Crioceris asparagi), the cereal leaf beetle (Oulema melanopus), the mustard beetle (Phaedon cochleariae) and various flea beetles, and a few act as vectors of plant diseases. Others are beneficial due to their use in biocontrol of invasive weeds. Some Chrysomelidae are conspicuously colored, typically in glossy yellow to red or metallic blue-green hues, and some (especially Cassidinae) have spectacularly bizarre shapes. Thus, they are highly popular among insect collectors.

Description

The imagos of leaf beetles are small to medium-sized, i.e. most species range from 1.0 to 18 mm in length, excluding appendages, with just a few larger species such as Alurnus humeralis, which reaches 35 mm. The bodies of most species are domed, and oval in dorsal view (though some are round or elongated), and they often possess a metallic luster or multiple colors. In most specimens, the antennae are notably shorter than head, thorax, and abdomen, i.e. not more than half their combined length. The second antennal segment is of normal size (which differentiates leaf beatles from the closely related longhorn beetles). In most species, the antennal segments are of a more or less equal shape, at most they gradually widen towards the tip, although some Galerucinae in particular have modified segments, mainly in males. The first segment of the antenna in most cases is larger than the following ones. The pronotum of leaf beetles varies between species. In most, it is slightly to highly domed and trapezoidal to rounded-squarish in dorsal view. In some subfamilies such as the Cassidinae and to a lesser extent the Cryptocephalinae, the head is covered by the pronotum and thus not visible from above. The first three sternites are not fused, instead being linked by mobile sutures. Most species possess wings, although the level of development and thus flight ability varies widely, including within a single species, and some are flightless with fused elytra.[4]

Subfamilies

The family includes these subfamilies:

Until recently, the subfamily Bruchinae was considered a separate family, while two former subfamilies are presently considered families (Orsodacnidae and Megalopodidae). Other commonly recognized subfamilies have recently been grouped with other subfamilies, usually reducing them to tribal rank (e.g., the former Alticinae, Chlamisinae, Clytrinae, and Hispinae). The extinct subfamily Protoscelidinae, containing fossils described from the Middle to Late Jurassic of Karatau, has been transferred to the family Anthribidae.[5]

Predators

Some species of wasps, such as Polistes carolina, have been known to prey upon Chrysomelidae larvae after the eggs are laid in flowers.[6]

Gallery

References

  1. ^ "Chrysomelidae". Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
  2. ^ "Family Identification – Chrysomeloidea". University of Florida. Archived from the original on 2006-10-13. Retrieved 2006-11-29.
  3. ^ Jolivet, Pierre; Verma, Krishna K. (2002). Biology of Leaf Beetles. Andover: Intercept. pp. 5–9. ISBN 1-898298-86-6.
  4. ^ Stresemann, Erwin (1994). Exkursionsfauna von Deutschland. Wirbellose Insekten. Erster Teil (8th ed.). Jena: Gustav Fischer Verlag. ISBN 3-334-60823-9.
  5. ^ Legalov, A.A. (2013). "Review of the family Anthribidae (Coleoptera) from the Jurassic of Karatau: subfamily Protoscelinae. Genus Protoscelis Medvedev". Paleontological Journal. 47 (3): 292–302. doi:10.1134/S0031030113030064.
  6. ^ "Polistes carolina (Linnaeus, 1767)". Biology. Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification. doi:10.3752/cjai.2008.05. Retrieved 2014-09-17.
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Leaf beetle: Brief Summary

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The insects of the beetle family Chrysomelidae are commonly known as leaf beetles, and include over 37,000 (and probably at least 50,000) species in more than 2,500 genera, making up one of the largest and most commonly encountered of all beetle families. Numerous subfamilies are recognized, but the precise taxonomy and systematics are likely to change with ongoing research.

Leaf beetles are partially recognizable by their tarsal formula, which appears to be 4-4-4, but is actually 5-5-5 as the fourth tarsal segment is very small and hidden by the third. As with many taxa, no single character defines the Chrysomelidae; instead, the family is delineated by a set of characters. Some lineages are only distinguished with difficulty from longhorn beetles (family Cerambycidae), namely by the antennae not arising from frontal tubercles.

Adult and larval leaf beetles feed on all sorts of plant tissue, and all species are fully herbivorous. Many are serious pests of cultivated plants, for example the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), the asparagus beetle (Crioceris asparagi), the cereal leaf beetle (Oulema melanopus), the mustard beetle (Phaedon cochleariae) and various flea beetles, and a few act as vectors of plant diseases. Others are beneficial due to their use in biocontrol of invasive weeds. Some Chrysomelidae are conspicuously colored, typically in glossy yellow to red or metallic blue-green hues, and some (especially Cassidinae) have spectacularly bizarre shapes. Thus, they are highly popular among insect collectors.

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Madagascar (Fig. 278).
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Malawi and Zimbabwe (Fig. 370).
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Republic of South Africa (Eastern Cape Province, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, North-West Province and Western Cape Provinces) (Fig. 292).
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Namibia (Fig. 296).
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Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Republic of South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and Zimbabwe (Fig. 304).
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Central, Eastern, and Southern-Eastern Africa (Fig. 306).
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Ethiopia (!) [Sidamo (BAQ)] and the Republic of South Africa [Eastern (!): Kirkwood (SANC), Grahamstown (SANC), Uitenhage (BAQ); Northern (!): Port Nolloth (SANC); and Western Cape Provinces] (Fig. 312).
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Ethiopia, Kenya (!) [S of Garissa (BAQ); NW of Garsen (BAQ); Taita, Mwatate (BAQ)], Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Socotra Island (Yemen) (Fig. 314).
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Nigeria, Guinea, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda (!) [Budongo Forest, Sonso (BAQ)], Rwanda, and Malawi (!) [Dedza (BAQ)] (Fig. 315).
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Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Republic of South Africa, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe (Fig. 281).
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Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Republic of South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal), Tanzania and Zambia (Fig. 282).
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Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, Republic of South Africa (Limpopo), Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leoneand Uganda (!) [Budongo Forest, Sonso (BAQ)] (Fig. 328).
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Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi (!) [Mulanje Mts (BAQ); Kasungu(BAQ)] and Zambia (!) [35 km S of Kasama (BAQ)] (Fig. 331).
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Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Republic of South Africa (!) [Mpumalanga, Mount Sheba (BAQ)], Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda (Fig. 338)
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Benin, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi (!) [Mulanje Mts. (BAQ)], Nigeria and Uganda (Fig. 344).
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Tanzania (Fig. 347).
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Afrotropical (excluding Madagascar), Oriental and Palaearctic regions (Fig. 349).
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Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Republic of South Africa (Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal), Sudan and Tanzania (Fig. 351).
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Central and Western Africa, and Madagascar (Fig. 352)
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Sub-Saharan Africa (absent in the southern-western part of SAF and Madagascar). Physonychis varicornis Duvivier, 1891 from Madagascar was transferred to the genus Physoma Clark by Bechyné (1959c) (Fig. 354).
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Maurizio Biondi, Paola D’Alessandro
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Biondi M, D’Alessandro P (2012) Afrotropical flea beetle genera: a key to their identification, updated catalogue and biogeographical analysis (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini) ZooKeys 253: 1–158
author
Maurizio Biondi
author
Paola D’Alessandro
original
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Zookeys

Distribution

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Sub-Saharan Africa (absent in the south-western part of SAF and Madagascar), Saudi Arabia, and Yemen (Fig. 356).
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copyright
Maurizio Biondi, Paola D’Alessandro
bibliographic citation
Biondi M, D’Alessandro P (2012) Afrotropical flea beetle genera: a key to their identification, updated catalogue and biogeographical analysis (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini) ZooKeys 253: 1–158
author
Maurizio Biondi
author
Paola D’Alessandro
original
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Zookeys

Distribution

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Only found onMadagascar (Fig. 358).
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copyright
Maurizio Biondi, Paola D’Alessandro
bibliographic citation
Biondi M, D’Alessandro P (2012) Afrotropical flea beetle genera: a key to their identification, updated catalogue and biogeographical analysis (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini) ZooKeys 253: 1–158
author
Maurizio Biondi
author
Paola D’Alessandro
original
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Zookeys

Distribution

provided by Zookeys
“Africa”.
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cc-by-3.0
copyright
Maurizio Biondi, Paola D’Alessandro
bibliographic citation
Biondi M, D’Alessandro P (2012) Afrotropical flea beetle genera: a key to their identification, updated catalogue and biogeographical analysis (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini) ZooKeys 253: 1–158
author
Maurizio Biondi
author
Paola D’Alessandro
original
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Zookeys

Distribution

provided by Zookeys
Burundi (!) [Bururi (ZSM)], Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda, and the Oriental region (Fig. 361).
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cc-by-3.0
copyright
Maurizio Biondi, Paola D’Alessandro
bibliographic citation
Biondi M, D’Alessandro P (2012) Afrotropical flea beetle genera: a key to their identification, updated catalogue and biogeographical analysis (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini) ZooKeys 253: 1–158
author
Maurizio Biondi
author
Paola D’Alessandro
original
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Zookeys

Distribution

provided by Zookeys
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Madagascar, Namibia, Republic of South Africa (Gauteng, Mpumalanga, and KwaZulu-Natal), Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe (Fig. 363).
license
cc-by-3.0
copyright
Maurizio Biondi, Paola D’Alessandro
bibliographic citation
Biondi M, D’Alessandro P (2012) Afrotropical flea beetle genera: a key to their identification, updated catalogue and biogeographical analysis (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini) ZooKeys 253: 1–158
author
Maurizio Biondi
author
Paola D’Alessandro
original
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Zookeys

Distribution

provided by Zookeys
Indian Ocean (Seychelles) (Fig. 364).
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cc-by-3.0
copyright
Maurizio Biondi, Paola D’Alessandro
bibliographic citation
Biondi M, D’Alessandro P (2012) Afrotropical flea beetle genera: a key to their identification, updated catalogue and biogeographical analysis (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini) ZooKeys 253: 1–158
author
Maurizio Biondi
author
Paola D’Alessandro
original
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Zookeys

Distribution

provided by Zookeys
Republic of South Africa [Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, and Eastern Cape Province] (Fig. 368).
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copyright
Maurizio Biondi, Paola D’Alessandro
bibliographic citation
Biondi M, D’Alessandro P (2012) Afrotropical flea beetle genera: a key to their identification, updated catalogue and biogeographical analysis (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini) ZooKeys 253: 1–158
author
Maurizio Biondi
author
Paola D’Alessandro
original
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Zookeys

Distribution

provided by Zookeys
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, the Republic of South Africa, and Uganda (Fig. 370).
license
cc-by-3.0
copyright
Maurizio Biondi, Paola D’Alessandro
bibliographic citation
Biondi M, D’Alessandro P (2012) Afrotropical flea beetle genera: a key to their identification, updated catalogue and biogeographical analysis (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini) ZooKeys 253: 1–158
author
Maurizio Biondi
author
Paola D’Alessandro
original
visit source
partner site
Zookeys

Distribution

provided by Zookeys
Democratic Republic of the Congo (Fig. 372).
license
cc-by-3.0
copyright
Maurizio Biondi, Paola D’Alessandro
bibliographic citation
Biondi M, D’Alessandro P (2012) Afrotropical flea beetle genera: a key to their identification, updated catalogue and biogeographical analysis (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini) ZooKeys 253: 1–158
author
Maurizio Biondi
author
Paola D’Alessandro
original
visit source
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Zookeys

Distribution

provided by Zookeys
Democratic Republic of the Congo (Fig. 373).
license
cc-by-3.0
copyright
Maurizio Biondi, Paola D’Alessandro
bibliographic citation
Biondi M, D’Alessandro P (2012) Afrotropical flea beetle genera: a key to their identification, updated catalogue and biogeographical analysis (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini) ZooKeys 253: 1–158
author
Maurizio Biondi
author
Paola D’Alessandro
original
visit source
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Zookeys

Distribution

provided by Zookeys
Madagascar (Fig. 374).
license
cc-by-3.0
copyright
Maurizio Biondi, Paola D’Alessandro
bibliographic citation
Biondi M, D’Alessandro P (2012) Afrotropical flea beetle genera: a key to their identification, updated catalogue and biogeographical analysis (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini) ZooKeys 253: 1–158
author
Maurizio Biondi
author
Paola D’Alessandro
original
visit source
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Zookeys

Distribution

provided by Zookeys
Arabian Peninsula and Socotra Island (Yemen) (Fig. 375).
license
cc-by-3.0
copyright
Maurizio Biondi, Paola D’Alessandro
bibliographic citation
Biondi M, D’Alessandro P (2012) Afrotropical flea beetle genera: a key to their identification, updated catalogue and biogeographical analysis (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini) ZooKeys 253: 1–158
author
Maurizio Biondi
author
Paola D’Alessandro
original
visit source
partner site
Zookeys