Submitted to: Annales Zoologici
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 25, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Longitarsus is one of the largest and most morphologically diverse genera of flea beetles (Alticinae), containing more than 700 available species names. The majority of Longitarsus species, both larval and adult stages are polyphagous, feeding on plants in several different families. Food plants of Longitarsus include some of the most important noxious weeds in the United States, and at least 3 species of Longitarsus have been release in North America as biological control agents of weeds. This study describes 4 new species of Longitarsus, redefines L. asperifoliarum and L. violentus, provide information on their range and host plants, and presents a key to species of the Longitarsus asperifoliarum group. This study will be important to taxonomists, ecologists, and persons involved in biological control of weeds - from foreign exploration to acquire new candidate control agents, to qualify control of laboratory cultures, and follow-up assessment of the spread and impact of the released Longitarsus species. Proper identification of these agents and an understanding of their relationships are crucial to the practice of environmentally safe biological control.
The Longitarsus asperifoliarum species group is reviewed. Four new species are described: L. hissaricus Lopatin, sp. nov. (Tadzhikistan), L. marguzoricus Konstantinov, sp. nov. (Tadzhikistan), L. tischechkini Konstantinov, sp. nov. (Kazakhstan), and L. violentoides Konstantinov, sp. nov. (Armenia). Longitarsus asperifoliarum afghanicus Lopatin is elevated to species status. A key to the species and diagnostic charcters for the group are provided. The setation of the apical and preapical abdominal tergites of females is recognized as a novel source of characters. Host plant and distributional data are included where available.