Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #360978

Research Project: Beetle Taxonomy and Systematics Supporting U.S. Agriculture, Arboriculture and Biological Control

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: A discovery of the first Nearctic moss-eating flea beetle, Distigmoptera borealis Blake, 1943 (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae: Alticini)

item Konstantinov, Alexander - Alex
item LINZMEIER, A. - Federal University Of Parana Polytechnic Center
item MORAIS ANA CARLA, COELHO - Federal University Of Big Dourados (UFGD)
item PALMER, MICHAEL - Oklahoma State University
item Scheffer, Sonja
item Lewis, Matthew

Submitted to: The Coleopterists Bulletin
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/19/2019
Publication Date: 9/22/2019
Citation: Konstantinov, A.S., Linzmeier, A.M., Morais Ana Carla, C., Palmer, M.W., Scheffer, S.J., Lewis, M.L. 2019. A discovery of the first Nearctic moss-eating flea beetle, Distigmoptera borealis Blake, 1943 (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae: Alticini). The Coleopterists Bulletin. 73(3):599-610.

Interpretive Summary: Leaf beetles, especially flea beetles, are among the most important insects for 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 control unwanted and invasive weeds. Most flea beetles live on the leaf surface of their host plants, however a few have evolved to live within moss cushion. This work documents a discovery of the first example of a flea beetle feeding on moss and moss like plants and inhabiting moss cushions in the United States and Nearctic biogeographic Region in general. Adults, larvae and pupae of these beetles are described and illustrated. The study will be useful to general biologists, evolutionary biologists, ecologists, and anyone interested in plant feeding beetles.

Technical Abstract: A flea beetle, Distigmoptera borealis Blake, 1943, is documented for the first time to feed on liverworts Reboulia hemisphaerica (L.) Raddi (Marchantiophyta, Marchantiopsida, Marchantiales, Aytoniaceae) and moss Weissia controversa Hedw. (Bryophyta, Bryopsida, Pottiales, Pottiaceae). This is the first and only known bryobiont leaf beetle in the USA and Nearctic biogeographic Region. The adults of D. borealis are redescribed and illustrated. The larva and pupa of D. borealis are described and illustrated for the first time.