|Volkovitsh, Mark - ZOOL.INST., ST. PETERS.RS|
|Cristofaro, Massimo - INN BIOAG-ECO, ROME, IT|
Submitted to: Entomological News
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 5, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Plants that serve as food for the flea beetle genus Aphthona, include some of the most important noxious invasive weeds in the United States. At least six species of the genus have been introduced and released in North America as biological control agents for leafy spurge. A new species of Aphthona was discovered in Russia that is another potential biological control agent for leafy spurge. It is described, illustrated, and separated from related species of the genus, especially others feeding on leafy spurge. New records and host plants of several other species that could be used for biological control of weeds are included. This study is of importance to ecologists, taxonomists, and persons involved in the biological control of invasive plants. Correct identity will aid in foreign exploration for new beneficial insects, quality control of laboratory cultures, and follow-up assessment of the spread and impact of released species.
Technical Abstract: The results of biological control exploration for Aphthona spp. on leafy spurge in Russia are reported. One new species is described based on adults and larvae: Aphthona russica, sp. nov. (Russia: Taman' Peninsula). Distributions and host plants of 10 other Aphthona species are recorded. Aphthona gracilis Faldermann is reported from Siberia for the first time feeding on Euphorbia virgata, and Euphorbia squamosa is recorded as a host plant of A. testaceicornis Weise for the first time.