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Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station
R. Dennis Rouse,
Minute to medium, oval or elongate, relatively compressed to convex beetles. Antennae generally at least 1/2 body length and rather closely inserted, usually 3rd antennal segment equal to or longer than 4th. Eyes entire. Prosternal process separating procoxae. Metafemora enlarged and adapted for jumping; metatibiae with apical spur.
No satisfactory tribal arrangement has thus far been proposed for the North American species. The Alticinae comprise the largest subfamily in the Chrysomelidae. Alticid species, particularly the smaller ones, are known as flea beetles because of their jumping ability. Many are of economic importance.
Key to the Alabama Genera of Alticinae
Genus Blepharida Chevrolat
Genus Pachyonychus Melsheimer
Genus Distigmoptera Blake
Genus Pseudolampsis Horn
Genus Pachyonychis Clark
Genus Kuschelina Bechyné
Genus Capraita Bechyné
Genus Disonycha Chevrolat
Genus Altica Fabricius
Genus Syphraea Baly
Genus Strabala Chevrolat
Genus Monomacra Chevrolat
Genus Hornaltica Barber
Genus Crepidodera Chevrolat
Genus Epithrix Foudras
Genus Orthaltica Crotch
Genus Luperaltica Crotch
Genus Mantura Stephens
Genus Chaetocnema Stephens
Genus Systena Chevrolat
Genus Longitarsus Latreille
Genus Phyllotreta Stephens
Genus Palaeothona Jacoby
Genus Glyptina LeConte
Genus Aphthona Chevrolat
Genus Dibolia Latreille
Genus Psylliodes Latreille
Blepharida Chevrolat, 1837, in Dejean, Cat. Coleopt. 1. 5., 2nd ed., p. 394.
Broadly oval, convex. Head rather deeply inserted into prothorax. Antennal insertions widely separated, 11th segment with small movable 12th segment. Procoxal cavities closed behind. Last tarsal segment of hind tarsi not globosely inflated. Tarsal claws bifid.
Only the following species occurs in North America.
Blepharida rhois (Forester) Fig. 27
Chrysomela rhois Forester, 1771, Nov. Spec. Ins., p. 21.
Chrysomela stalida Fabricius, 1775, Syst. Entomol., p. 98.
Chrysomela meticulosa Olivier, 1807, Entomol. Colept. 5, p. 531.
Blepharida atripennis Horn, 1895, Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci., 6: 249.
Blepharida dorothea Mignot, 1971, Coleopt. Bull. 25: 13. New synonymy.
Oval, quite convex. Head and prothorax yellow. Elytra regularly striate-punctate, red-brown mottled with yellow. Length 6.3-7.7 mm. Width 3.9-4.9 mm.
Alabama records: 13 specimens from Lee(1), Madison(1), and Mobile(1,2) County.
Seasonal distribution: April 11-July 1.
Remarks: These beetles occur on Rhus spp. We disagree with Mignot's (78) conclusion that the mottled forms of North American Blepharida are a species distinct from the more vittate individuals. Instead we consider the variation observed in several characters to be intraspecific, although somewhat geographically delineated. Our study of South Dakota Blepharida specimens substantiates this conclusion.
Pachyonychus Melsheimer, 1847, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 3: 158-181. Type-species: Pachyonychus paradoxus Melsheimer.
Elongate. Head broad, oval, not deeply inserted into prothorax. Maxillary palpi stout, robust. Prothorax with basal transverse impression. Procoxal cavities closed behind. Posterior tibiae longitudinally bicarinate, with single apical spur. Last segment of posterior tarsi globosely inflated. Only one species occurs in North America.
Pachyonychus paradoxus Melsheimer
Pachyonychus paradoxus Melsheimer, 1847, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 3: 163.
Elongate. Head, prothorax, and venter yellow or red-yellow. Elytra striate-punctate, black or brown with suture broadly yellow or red-yellow. Length 3.5-4.4 mm. Width 1.8-2.1 mm.
Alabama records: 6 specimens from Lee(1), Macon(1), Marion(1), and Winston(2) counties.
Seasonal distribution: April 13-June 17.
Remarks: This species has been collected by beating Smilax sp.
Distigmoptera Blake, 1943, Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 45: 209. Type-species: Distigmoptera apicalis Blake.
Conspicuously pubescent. Head and thorax coarsely punctate. Elytra coarsely striate-punctate with distinct depressions. Procoxal cavities closed. Apical segments of posterior tarsi globosely swollen.
Balsbaugh (4) described a new species of Distigmoptera from South Carolina, which conceivably could occur also in Alabama.
Key to the Alabama Genera of Cryptocephalini
Distigmoptera pilosa (Illiger) Fig. 28
Haltica pilosa Illiger, 1807, Mag. Insektenk. 6: 105.
Elongate, pubescent. Head with clypeus elongate, narrowed between antennal insertions, black, coarsely punctate; antennal segments 1-6 fulvous, 7-11 dark brown. Elytra dark brown, coarsely punctate, punctures tending to be in striae but confused somewhat just before the large midelytral foveae; pubescense consisting of both fine recumbent and erect setae. Length 3.9-4.0 mm. Width 1.8-1.9 mm.
Alabama records: 3 specimens from Etowah(2) and Mobile(2,3) counties.
Seasonal distribution: April 20-June 3.
Distigmoptera impennata Blake*
Distigmoptera impennata Blake, 1943, Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 45: 216.
Oval, pubescent. Head dark brown, shining, impunctate on medial portion of frons but coarsely punctate nearer eyes, each puncture bearing an erect seta; with deep depression between frontal tubercles. Pronotum uneven, coarsely punctate, pubescent with long setae, shining between punctures. Elytra brown, the humeri yellow-brown; striate-punctate with large punctures; discal depression slightly beyond basal 1/3 behind the prominent mid-basal callosities; pubescence erect. Males wingless or brachypterous. Length 2.5 mm. Width 1.4 mm.
Alabama records: 1 specimen from Mobile(2) County.
Seasonal distribution: July 2.
Pseudolampsis Horn, 1889, Trans. Amer. Entomol. Soc. 16: 174. Type-species: Hypolampsis quattata LeConte.
Clypeus elongate, truncate. Thorax much narrower than elytra. Pubescent, punctate-striate. Procoxal cavities open behind. Posterior tibiae not sulcate, with small spur. Last segment of hind tarsi globosely inflated, tarsal claws bifid.
Pseudolampsis guttata (LeConte) Fig. 29
Hypolampsis guttatus LeConte, 1884, Trans. Amer. Entomol. Soc. 12: 29.
Distigmoptera darwini Scherer, 1964, Entomol. Arb. Mus. Frey 15(1): 297.
Robust. Head red-brown, clypeus elongate, narrowed at base of antennae. Prothorax subquadrate, shining dark brown, punctate, pubescent, angles with long setae. Elytra nearly twice as wide as pronotum at base, striate-punctate, umbones and basal callosities dark brown with disc medially lighter brown, moderately pubescent with yellow-green vestiture. Length 2.5 mm. Width 1.3 mm.
Alabama records: 2 specimens from Mobile(2,3) County.
Seasonal distribution: June-July.
Remarks: Balsbaugh (4,5) gives additional distribution records of this species, extending its range east to South Carolina and south to Brazil and Uruguay.
Pachyonychis Clark, 1860, Cat. Halticidae in Brit. Mus. pt. I.: 61, 290. Type-species: Pachyonychis paradoxus Clark.
Hamletia Crotch, 1873, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 25: 56, 59. Type-species: Hamletia dimidiaticornis Crotch.
Head not deeply inserted into prothorax. Prothorax slightly wider at base than long. Procoxal cavities open behind. Posterior tibiae sulcate externally, and with small tooth before apical corbel, apex with curved spur. Pro and mesotarsal claws appendiculate, posterior tarsi with last segment globose, claws simple.
The genus is monotypic. Mignot (77) discussed nomenclatural confusion concerning the generic name.
Pachyonychis paradoxus Clark
Pachyonychis paradoxus Clark, 1860, Cat. of the Halticidae in the coll. of the British Mus. I., p. 63.
Hamletia dimidiaticornis Crotch, 1873, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 25: 58.
Elongate, oval. Head and prothorax shining black, with faint mahogany brown indications, especially brown spot on frons immediately above frontal tubercles. Pronotum finely alutaceous, faintly punctate. Antennae with basal 3 segments fulvous, segments 4-9 dark brown to black, segments 10-11 white-yellow. Elytra green-brown; closely , irregularly punctate. Legs and last 2 abdominal segments yellow. Length 5.3 mm. Width 2.5 mm.
Alabama records: 1 specimen from Mobile(2,3) County.
Seasonal distribution: October 20.
Remarks: V. M. Kirk collected 2 of these beetles, which the senior author identified, in bogs in South Carolina.
Syphraea Baly, 1876, Trans. Entomol. Soc. London, p. 447.
Oval, compact, small black or blue-black flea beetles. Frontal tubercles obliquely elongate, not distinctly laterally margined but merging into mesal margin of eyes. Pronotal prebasal transverse impression angled at meson, forming a pair of arches; anterior corner setae inserted somewhat behind the front angles. Anterior coxal cavities open behind.
W. J. Brown (personal communication) suggested to us that S. nana (Crotch) possibly was misclassified in the genus Altica. After Dr. Gerhard Scherer, Museum G. Frey, Tutzing, West Germany, examined it and S. nigritula (Linell) he suggested transferring both of these species to Syphraea Baly.
Key to the Alabama Species of Syphraea
Syphraea nigritula (Linell) *
Haltica nigritula Linell, 1897, Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. 20: 484.
Syphraea nigritula (Linell), new combination.
Oval, convex. Shining black with metallic deep blue-green reflections. Antennal segments 1-4 yellow-brown, 5-11 brown. Legs yellow-brown, posterior femora brown. Venter black. Pronotum strongly convex, finely punctate, prebasal transverse impression deep. Elytra coarsely, irregularly punctate. Length 1.8-2.5 mm. Width 0.9-1.2 mm.
Alabama records: 18 specimens from Houston(1) County.
Seasonal distribution: July 9-August 10.
Remarks: These beetles were collected by sweeping roadside vegetation. Although very similar in appearance to S. nana (Crotch), they differ by their larger size and greater yellowness of their appendages.
Syphraea nana (Crotch) Fig. 43
Haltica nana Crotch, 1873, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 25: 72.
Haltica nanula LeConte, 1884, Trans. Amer. Entomol. Soc. 11: 29.
Syphraea nana (Linell), new combination.
Oblong oval, convex. Shining black with faint hint of deep blue or green. Antennae brown. Femora dark brown or black, tibiae, femoral apexes, and bases of tibiae somewhat lighter brown. Length 1.4-2.1 mm. Width 0.8-1.2 mm.
Alabama records: 155 specimens from Lee(1), Marion(1), and Winston(1) counties.
Seasonal distribution: July 11-29.
Remarks: This minute flea beetle lives and feeds on Crotonopsis elliptica, a plant of shallow soil on rock outcroppings. All of the above specimens were definitely collected from this host. Six beetles, possibly of this species, were found in Loding's collection. Because of non-association with food-plant material, his specimens were not conclusively determined.
Strabala Chevrolat, 1837, in Dejean, Cat. Coleopt. 3rd ed. livr. 5, p. 413.
Oval, yellow-orange brown or red-brown, legs, venter, antennae, and scutellum usually dark. Antennae moderately stout, not reaching middle of elytra. Pronotum flat, with indistinct transverse subbasal depression not laterally limited by longitudinal depression. Elytra irregularly, closely punctate. Anterior coxal cavities open behind. Posterior tibiae with an apical spur. Apical segment of posterior tarsi not globosely inflated. Claws appendiculate.
The nominate form of following species occurs in Alabama. A smoother, less distinctly punctate subspecies, S. rufa floridana Blake, occurs in Florida.
Strabala rufa (Illiger) Fig. 33
Haltica rufa Illiger, 1807, Mag. Insektenk. 6: 152.
Oval. Head, pronotum, and elytra dull red-brown. Elytra closely punctate. Antennae, eyes, scutellum, venter from mesosternum caudad, and legs, except posterior femora, black. Length 4.4-5.0 mm. Width 2.5-3.2 mm.
Alabama records: 16 specimens from Baldwin(1), Clay(1), Escambia(1), Houston(1), Lee(1), Macon(1), and Mobile(2) counties.
Seasonal distribution: March 17-October 1.
Monomacra Chevrolat, 1837, in Dejean, Cat. Coleopt., 3rd ed. (5): 389.
Lactica Erichson, 1847, Arch. Naturg. 13: 173.
Camoena Baly, 1862, Jour. Entomol. 1: 458 (not Herrich-Schaeffer, 1868).
Medonia Baly, 1865, Jour. Entomol. 1: 459 (not Candeze, 1860).
Halticodes Blackburn, 1896, Trans. Roy. Soc. South Australia 20: 41.
Head inserted into prothorax as far as eyes, frontal tubercles not prominent, antennae over 1/2 body length, 3rd segment shorter than 4th. Pronotum shining with deep transverse prebasal impression limited laterally by longitudinal impression to base, space between impression and basal margin flat. Elytra oval. Procoxal cavities open behind. Anterior and middle tibiae bisulcate on lateral side, hind tibiae with short sulcus and row of ciliae on outer edge. Tarsal claws appendiculate.
The 2 Alabama species formerly were classified in the genus Lactica Erichson.
Key to the Alabama Species of Monomacra
Monomacra tibialis (Olivier)
Lactica tibialis Olivier, 1808, Entomol. 6: 697.
Lactica ocreata Say, 1832, Ins. La., p. 7.
Lactica religata Jacq. du Val., 1856, Hist. phys. Cuba Ins. VII, p. 311.
Lactica xanthochroa Harold, 1875, Col. Hefte XIII, p. 89.
Oval, shining yellow. Antennal segments 2 or 3-11, eyes, and legs from femoral apexes to and including tarsi black. Length 3.3-4.6 mm. Width 1.6-2.3 mm.
Alabama records: 39 specimens from Baldwin(2), Cleburne(1), Dallas(1), Etowah(2), Lee(1), Macon(1), Madison(2), and Winston(1) counties.
Seasonal distribution: April 21-August 5.
Remarks: This species can be collected at lights or by beating Passiflora incarnata.
Monomacra iris (Olivier)
Lactica iris Olivier, 1808, Entomol. 6: 702.
Lactica specularis Harold, 1875, Col. Hefte XIII, p. 89.
Oval. Head and prothorax shining yellow. Elytra shining metallic blue-purple. Antennal segments 1-3 yellow, 4-11 black. Front and middle legs yellow but their tibiae black on lateral surfaces. Metasternum, abdomen, and posterior legs black. Length 3.3-4.6 mm. Width 1.8-3.6 mm.
Alabama records: 19 specimens from Cleburne(1), Lee(1), Limestone(2), Macon(1), and Tuscaloosa(2,3) counties.
Seasonal distribution: June 14-July 24.
Remarks: We collected this species by beating Phytolacca americana and Passiflora incarnata.
Hornaltica Barber, 1941, Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 43: 66.
Head set in prothorax to eyes, antennae less than 1/2 body length. Pronotum with transverse prebasal impression limited laterally by short longitudinal impressions to base. Elytra glabrous, striate-punctate, striae becoming obsolete at apex. Anterior coxal cavities open behind.
Key to the Alabama Species of Hornaltica
Hornaltica bicolorata (Horn) * Fig. 36
Diphaulaca bicolorata Horn, 1889, Trans. Amer. Entomol. Soc. 16: 234.
Broadly oval, convex. Head and prothorax shining, dark red-yellow. Elytra shining black; venter from mesothorax caudad, black. Legs yellow-brown. Prothorax with prebasal transverse impression, limited laterally by apically. Length 2.1-2.3 mm. Width 1.2-1.3 mm.
Alabama records: 3 specimens from Baldwin(1) and Choctaw(1) counties.
Seasonal distribution: August 27-28.
Remarks: The specimens seen may have been swept from Acalypha sp.
Hornaltica atriventris (Melsheimer)
Crepidodera atriventris Melsheimer, 1847, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 3: 165.
Broadly oval, convex, yellow-brown, abdomen black. Head with frontal tubercles not prominent. Pronotum with prebasal transverse impression limited laterally by short longitudinal impressions. Length 1.6-1.9 mm. Width 0.9-1.1 mm.
Alabama records: 35 specimens from Baldwin(1), Clay(1), Coosa(1), Houston(1), Lee(1), Limestone(1), Macon(1), Madison(1,3), and Mobile(2,3) counties.
Seasonal distribution: March 28-August 28.
Remarks: Wilcox (94) gives Acalypha spp. as the host for these flea beetles but we have collected some by sweeping Vicia sp. and Beassica sp.
Crepidodera Chevrolat, 1837, in Dejean, Cat. Coleopt. 3rd ed., 415. Type-species: Chrysomela nitidula Fabricius.
Chalcoides Foudras, 1859, Hist. Nat. Col. France, Altisides, 312.
Foudrasia des Gozis, 1882, Soc. Entomol. France, Ann. Ser. 6, 1 (Bull.): CXXXIV (new name for Chalcoides Foudras).
Oval or elongate oval, shining. Pronotum with prebasal transverse impression limited laterally by longitudinal furrows to base; punctate. Elytra glabrous, regularly punctate-striate. Anterior coxal cavities closed behind. Tarsal claws appendiculate.
Two species have been found in Alabama. It is possible that Crepidodora violacea (Melsheimer), a feeder on Prunus or Crataegus, will eventually be collected in the State.
Key to the Alabama Species of Crepidodera
Crepidodera nana (Say) Fig. 37
Altica nana Say, 1824, Jour. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 3: 86.
Haltica opulenta LeConte, 1858, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 9: 86.
Chalcoides chittendeni Heikertinger.
Oval. Shining metallic green, blue-green, or bronze green. Head smooth with setigerous punctures in supra-orbital groove; antennae yellow. Pronotum coarsely punctate. Elytral punctures coarse, in regular striae. Legs usually entirely yellow. Length 2.5-3.3 mm. Width 1.1-1.8 mm.
Alabama records: 187 specimens from Baldwin(1), Blount(1), Clarke(1), Clay(1), Cleburne(1), Crenshaw(1), Elmore(1), Escambia(1), Etowah(2), Franklin(1), Houston(1), Jefferson(1), Lawrence(1), Lee(1), Macon(1), Marion(1), Marshall(1), Mobile(2), Shelby(1), Tallapoosa(1), and Walker(1) counties.
Seasonal distribution: March 20-September 18.
Remarks: The host plant for this common flea beetle is Salix sp.
Crepidodera longula Horn*
Crepidodera longula Horn, 1889, Trans. Amer. Entomol. Soc. 16: 239.
Elongate oval. Shining red-yellow, with slight greenish lustre. Head smooth, shining with setigerous puncture close to supra-orbital groove. Pronotal punctures both coarse and fine, not especially dense. Elytral suture dark green, color wider and more intense at base and narrowing toward apex. Legs and venter also red-yellow. Length 2.8 mm. Width 1.4 mm.
Alabama records: 1 specimen from Marion(1) County.
Seasonal distribution: July 12.
Remarks: Only a single specimen of this apparently rare beetle has been collected, probably by beating Salix. (Trees of this genus ocurred at the collection site and Horn (63) in his description of this species also recorded Salix sp. as the host plant.) W. J. Brown (personal communication), however, recognizes a second, similar species of which this specimen may be an example. More study is needed to determine the proper application of names.
Orthaltica Crotch, 1873, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 25: 69.
Elongate subparallel. Head oval, 4th antennal segment subequal in length to 3rd. Prothorax wider than long, disc convex, with moderately deep prebasal transverse impression. Humeri of elytra prominent, elytra striate-punctate with sparse pubescence. Prosternal coxal cavities closed behind. Prosternum broad between front coxae. Metafemora short, subequal to 1/2 length of abdomen, not reaching apex of elytra.
Key to the Alabama Species of Orthaltica
Orthaltica copalina (Fabricius)
Cioceris cophalina Fabricius, 1801, Syst. Eleuth. I., p. 466.
Haltica forticornis Illiger, 1807, Mag. Insektenk. 6: 111.
Elongate, subparallel, dark brown, pronotum usually lighter brown. Head with clypeus and frontal tubercles yellow-brown; frons shining, punctate. Antennae in males 3/4 or more of body length, segments stout, first segment thickly clavate; in females antennae about 1/2 of body length, segments not so thickened, gradually wider toward apex. Prothorax punctate, with transverse prebasal impression; broader, more convex in male; lateral margins serrate. Elytra striate-punctate, punctures confused in scutellar region; sparsely pubescent; humeri prominent. Length 2.1-3.0 mm. Width 0.9-1.4 mm.
Alabama records: 22 specimens from DeKalb(1), Houston(1), Lee(1), Macon(1), Marion(1), Mobile(2), Tallapoosa(1), and Winston(1) counties.
Seasonal distribution: April 11-June 16.
Remarks: This species feeds on poison ivy and sumac (Rhus spp.) (94).
Orthaltica melina Horn*
Orthaltica melina Horn, 1889, Trans. Amer. Entomol. Soc. 16: 248.
Elongate, subparallel, light yellow-brown. Head unicolorous, frons with few coarse punctures. Antennae 2/3 length of body. Pronotum shining, punctate, with transverse prebasal impression widest at apical third and tapering to base, lateral margins not serrate. Elytra striate-punctate, punctures not confused near scutellum, sparsely pubescent. Length 1.9-2.3 mm. Width 0.9-1.0 mm.
Alabama records: 3 specimens from "Corner of Lee(1), Macon(1), and Tallapoosa(1)" and Winston(1) counties.
Seasonal distribution: May 14-June 3.
Luperaltica Crotch, 1873, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 25: 70.
Elongate, slightly oval. Apex of mandible narrow, with single point. Pronotum broader than long, feebly or not at all impressed before base. Posterior femora thickened , but not greatly so. Posterior tibiae with short spur at apex.
Key to the Alabama Species of Luperaltica
Luperaltica nigripalpis (LeConte) *
Longitarsus nigripalpis LeConte, 1859, Smithson. Cont. Knowl. 11: 26.
Malacosoma fuscula LeConte, 1865, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 17: 206.
Luperaltica fuscula novellus Crotch, 1873, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 25: 70 (var.).
Elongate, very slightly oval, usually brown-yellow, less frequently darker yellow-brown in more northern Alabama specimens. Elytra minutely alutaceous, irregularly punctate with fine sparse punctures. Length 2.8-3.7 mm. Width 1.4-1.9 mm.
Alabama records: 115 specimens from Cleburne(1), Coosa(1), Franklin(1), Henry(1), Lee(1), Marion(1), and Winston(1) counties.
Seasonal distribution: August 13-September 17.
Remarks: These beetles have been collected by sweeping Ambrosia sp. Luperaltica nigripalpis tends to vary geographically from darker to lighter brown from north to south. Specimens seen from Pennsylvania were dark brown with slight hints of blue.
Luperaltica senilis (Say) *
Altica senilis Say, 1824, Jour. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 4: 87.
Malacosoma tincta LeConte, 1865, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 17: 206.
Elongate, slightly oval. Head with clypeus and frontal tubercles yellow, frons brown. Pronotum yellow-brown, alutaceous, with indistinct prebasal transverse impression. Elytra shining metallic brown with green lustre; distinctly, irregularly punctate, suture lighter brown. Length 3.5-3.6 mm. Width 1.8-1.9 mm.
Alabama records: 2 specimens from Coosa(1) County.
Seasonal distribution: August 13.
Remarks: Our 2 specimens were collected by sweeping Ambrosia sp. and were among specimens of Luperaltica nigripalpis.
Mantura Stephens, 1831, Illus. Brit. Entomol. Mandib. 4: 285, 322. Type-species: Chrysomela rustica Linnaeus.
Cardiapus Curtis, 1833, Brit. Entomol. 10: 435.
Balanomorpha Chevrolat, 1837, in Dejean, Cat. Coleopt., ed. 3, 394.
Stenomantura Heikertinger, 1909, Zool. Bot. Ges. Wien, Verh. 59: 370. Subgenus.
Head with carina or tubercles. Antennae 1/2 body length. Pronotum without transverse prebasal impression but with short lateral longitudinal impressions. Procoxal cavities closed behind.
Only the following species occurs in Alabama.
Mantura floridana Crotch*
Mantura floridana Crotch, 1873, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 25: 73.
Elongate oval, dark brown with very slight bronze lustre, apex of elytra yellow-brown. Head and pronotum coarsely punctate, latter with pair of short, deep, longitudinal, lateral, basal impressions. Elytra striate-punctate, punctures and striae obsolete apically. Length 2.1-2.5 mm. Width 1.1-1.3 mm.
Alabama records: 56 specimens from Baldwin(1), Elmore(1), Houston(1), Lee(1), Macon(1), and Mobile(2) counties.
Seasonal distribution: March 20-November.
Remarks: This species feeds on plantain (Plantago sp.) and dock (Rumex sp.) (94).
Palaeothona Jacoby, 1880, Biol. Centr.-Amer. Col. 6(1): 377.
Trachymetopa Weise, 1899, Deutsche Entomol. Zeitschr., p. 139.
Small, oval, subconvex. Frontal tubercles swollen, separated from frons by impression. Antennae slightly longer than 1/2 body length. Procoxal cavities open behind. Posterior tibiae with mid apical spur, tibial apex laterally with fringe of small setae. First posterior tarsal segment subequal in length to 2nd and 3rd together.
One of 2 North American species is known from Alabama. It was classified by Loding (75) as a Phyllotreta.
Palaeothona picta (Say)
Altica picta Say, 1859, Jour. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 4: 87.
Trachymetopha cretica Weise, 1899, Deutsche Entomol. Zeitschr., p. 140.
Oval, somewhat convex. Antennae yellow-orange, apical 4 or 5 segments dark brown. Head and prothorax yellow-orange. Elytra shining metallic green, blue-green or more rarely dark purple-brown; closely, finely, irregularly punctate. Except for orange prosternum, venter black. Legs light yellow-brown, posterior femora brown. Length 2.3-2.8 mm. Width 1.2-1.8 mm.
Alabama records: 64 specimens from Clay(1), Cleburne(1), Escambia(1), Etowah(2), Houston(1), Jackson(2), Lee(1), Macon(1), Madison(1), Marion(1), Mobile(2), and Winston(1,2) counties.
Seasonal distribution: April 1-August 18.
Remarks: The host plants for P. picta are Quercus spp.
Aphthona Chevrolat, 1842, d'Orbigny's Dic. d'Hist. Nat. 2: 5. Type-species: Altica cyparissiae; first species mentioned.
Small species. Front carinate between antennae, with tubercles above carina. Antennae longer than 1/2 body length. Prothorax broader than long. Elytra wider at base than prothorax. Procoxal cavities open behind. Posterior tibiae apically emarginate with spur on outer lobe.
Only the following species is known from Alabama.
Aphthona insolita (Melsheimer)
Cerataltica insolita Melsheimer, 1847, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 3: 168.
Broadly oval. Shining red-brown. Head, smooth, impunctate. Antennae longer than 1/2 body length; brown, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 10th, and 11th segments ventrally more yellow. Pronotum shining, very minutely punctulate; 1/3 wider than long, anterior margins obliquely truncate with post apical angulations, posterior corners tuberculate; lateral margins narrowly explanate. Elytra considerably wider than prothorax, humeri prominent; surface shining, disc with fine punctures in rows but striae not at all impressed; apex impunctate. Length 1.9-2.1 mm. Width 1.1-1.2 mm.
Alabama records: 3 specimens from Lee(1), Macon(1), and Mobile(2,3) counties.
Seasonal distribution: April 7-May 14.
Dibolia Latreille, 1829, in Cuvier, Regne Anim., ed. 5: 155. Type-species: Haltica occultana Koch.
Small, convex, usually metallic. Head sunken into prothorax, clypeus extending as carina between antennae. Prothorax broader than long, narrowed anteriorly. Elytra oval, width at base equal to that of prothorax. Anterior coxal cavities open behind. Posterior femora strongly thickened. Posterior tibiae laterally grooved and denticulate near apex, apex with medial broad spur, apically bifurcate. Claws appendiculate.
Only Dibolia sinuata Horn has been positively identified from Alabama. Several other specimens of Dibolia (near borealis Chevrolat) have also been collected in the State. However, W. J. Brown, Canada Department of Agriculture, who graciously examined these specimens, informed us (personal communication) that they are not D. borealis. (Loding (75) recorded D. borealis but his specimens were really Psylliodes punctulata Melsheimer.) The unidentified Dibolia are possibly new. Further material and knowledge of their biology are required before they can accurately be described. Dibolia borealis is known as a larval leaf miner of plantain (94).
Dibolia sinuata Horn*
Dibolia sinuata Horn, 1889, Trans. Amer. Entomol. Soc. 16: 307.
Broadly oval, convex. Head, antennae, and legs, except posterior femora, red-brown, these femora black. Pronotum 2 times as wide as long, narrowed anteriorly, shining black, faintly, closely punctate basomedially. Elytra shining steel blue, punctate-striate, somewhat irregularly so; interstrial spaces with irregular fine punctures; apexes of elytra sinuate. First segment of anterior tarsal claws enlarged in males (as broad as long), slender in females (longer than broad). Length 3.1-3.2 mm. Width 2.0-2.1 mm.
Alabama records: 3 specimens from Lee(1) and Mobile(2) counties.
Seasonal distribution: June 3.
Remarks: This species is apparently rare. It was described by Horn (63) from a single specimen from Texas. The Lee County material was collected by sweeping roadside vegetation.
Psylliodes Latreille, 1825, Fam. Nat. Regne Anim. 405.
Macrocnema Stephens, 1816, Illustr. Brit. Entomol. Mandib. 4: 317 (not Hübner).
Macrocnema Weise, 1888, Naturg. Ins. Deutschl. Col. 6: 785, 793 (not Stephens).
Eupus Wallaston, 1854, Ins. Mader., 452, Fig. 5.
Psyllomina Bedel, 1898, Faune Col. Bassin Seine 5: 200. Subgenus, new name for Macrocnema Weise, not Stephens.
Phyllomima C. Waterhouse, 1902, Ind. Zool. 1: 287 (err.).
Elongate oval species. Head oval, deeply inserted into prothorax, clypeal carina and frontal tubercles absent. Antennae 11-segmented. Prothorax broader than long, narrowed anteriorly. Posterior femora grooved to receive tibiae. Posterior tibiae with preapical tarsal insertion, dentate, apex ending as spur. First segment of posterior tarsi more than 1/2 length of tibiae. Claws simple.
Only one species is thus far known from the State.
Psylliodes punctulata Melsheimer*
Psylliodes punctulata Melsheimer, 1847, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 3: 166.
Psylliodes parvicollis LeConte, 1860 (1857), Rept. Explor. Surv. Miss. Pacif. 12: 69.
Psylliodes extricata Casey, 1884, Contrib. Descript. Col. N. Amer. I., p. 54.
Psylliodes aenescens Casey, 1884, Contrib. Descript. Col. N. Amer. I., p. 55.
Elongate oval. Shining pitchy black with a hint of bronze metallic lustre. Antennae and legs red-brown, femora varying from black to bronze, latter shade especially occurring in posterior femora. Head sparsely to moderately punctate, punctures not coarse. Pronotal punctation slightly coarser, only faintly alutaceous between punctures. Elytra punctate-striate, striae feebly impressed; innerstrial spaces punctulate. Males with first segment of anterior tarsi greatly enlarged; 5th ventral abdominal segment with semioval groove. Length 2.5-3.3 mm. Width 1.2-1.8 mm.
Alabama records: 74 specimens from Houston(1), Lee(1), Macon(1), Mobile(2), St. Clair(1), Tallapoosa(1), and Tuscaloosa(1) counties.
Seasonal distribution: March 9-November 19.
Remarks: Series of these beetles have been obtained by sweeping Trifolium incarnatum.