Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Flea beetles often attack crops in the United States and can cause serious damage. This paper deals with the flea beetles in the genus Systena and provides a detailed analysis of the morphology of the adult beetles. To fully understand relationships among species and genera on a worldwide level, detailed morphological character examination is very important. By carefully comparing equivalent characters among species and genera, identification of taxa on a worldwide scope is made possible or enhanced. We have provided a morphological base to enhance phylogenetic and taxonomic research in flea beetles by carefully analyzing species of Systena. This work will be useful to evolutionary biologists in general and taxonomists, systematists, and biological control workers, specifically.
A summary of the taxonomic history for Systena Chevrolat (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae) is presented. Systena frontalis (Fabricius) is designated as the type species. Detailed discussion and illustration of morphological characters is presented for Systena adults based on specimens of Systena blanda Melsheimer. A discussion of potential relationships of Systena to other alticine genera is presented.