|PRATHAPAN, K. - Kerala Agricultural University
|Konstantinov, Alexander - Alex
|SHAMEEM, K. - Kerala Agricultural University
|BALAN, A. - Kerala Agricultural University
Submitted to: ZooKeys
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/14/2013
Publication Date: 9/27/2013
Citation: Prathapan, K.D., Konstantinov, A.S., Shameem, K.M., Balan, A.P. 2013. The first record of a leaf-hole shelter in leaf beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) with descriptions of two new Orthaltica Crotch species from southern India. ZooKeys. 336:47-59.
Interpretive Summary: Leaf beetles are among the most important insects affecting U.S. 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 destroy unwanted and invasive weeds. This work provides descriptions, illustrations, and a key for 2 previously unknown leaf beetle species from southern India, to allow for their identification and proper classification, 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.
Technical Abstract: Two behavioral novelties in adults of leaf beetles were observed in a couple of new species of Orthaltica Crotch: 1) use of low cost, leaf-hole shelter, which are pre-formed holes produced by larger beetles that fed on the same leaf, or made artificially as part of an experiment; 2) use of feces to partition the hole. Two new species of the genus Orthaltica are described from southern India: O. syzygium and O. terminalia. New species are illustrated and their host plants are identified. A key to Indian species of Orthaltica is provided.