Submitted to: Zootaxa
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 28, 2008
Publication Date: January 30, 2009
Citation: Prathapan, K.D., Konstantinov, A.S. 2009. Descriptions of eight new species of Phaelota (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) with a new generic synonymy and a key to species of Indian subcontinent. Zootaxa. 1991:1-27.
Interpretive Summary: Leaf beetles, especially flea beetles, are among the most important insects for US agriculture. Many are serious pests and feed on crops destroying valuable plants costing millions of dollars annually. Others are important biological control agents that can be used to control unwanted and invasive weeds. This work describes eight new species from India and Sri Lanka, providing key characters, description, illustrations, and a key for all 14 species of the genus that occur in India and Sri Lanka to allow for its identification and thus make them available for potential use in biological control projects. This study will be useful to biological control workers, taxonomists, ecologists, and anyone interested in plant feeding beetles.
Six new species of Phaelota Jacoby from India viz. P. assamensis, P. kottigehara, P. maculipennis, P. mauliki, P. saluki, and P. viridipennis and two new species from Sri Lanka viz. P. ogloblini and P. schereri are described and illustrated. Thrylaea Jacoby is treated as a new junior synonym of Phaelota. Lectotype of Phaelota variabilis (Jacoby) is designated and the species is removed from the synonyms of P. flavipennis (Motschulsky). Consequences of loss of flight on host plant selection in Phaelota is discussed and a key to the species of the Indian subcontinent is provided.