Chrysomelidae
1-18mm. Antennae filiform, filiform-serrate or gradually and only moderately thickened apically but never clubbed (cf. Coccinellidae, which some species superficially resemble), often distinctly serrate in Bruchinae, not inserted in grooves or pits and not mounted on tubercles (Cerambycidae). Eyes entire except in Bruchinae where they are notched. Head not rostrate ( Curculionidae). Elytra covering abdomen except in gravid females of many species and Bruchinae where the pygidium is exposed. Tarsi pseudotetramerous on all legs, the fourth segment usually minute, almost always with some bilobed segments, but see Macroplea.

Recent incorporation of Bruchidae as a subfamily, along with the various distinctive forms included in other subfamilies of Chrysomelidae has prompted us to give a brief description of each so that a broad familiarity can be gained fairly quickly. Most species are brightly coloured or metallic or both and are easily recognised. They will soon appear in the sweep net or beating tray, adults generally from the larval foodplant at sometime during the spring, summer or autumn. A surprising number are to be found in the winter in grass tussocks or under bark or logs e.g. Crepidodera, Plagiodera, Longitarsus and Chaetocnema.

Joy's is variously useful as explained below. The group is covered by Mohr, K.H., 1966 in Vol.9 of Die Kafer Mitteleuropas, updated in 1994 by Kippenberg in Vol.14. Bienkowski's work is very useful but does not cover all our species. Michael Cox's 2007 atlas provides the most recent list of references dealing with the British list.

Two genera formerly included within the Chrysomelidae, Zeugophora and Orsodacne are now raised to family status Megalopodidae and Orsodacnidae respectively.

Bruchinae
1.7-5.3mm. Compact oval beetles with distinct side margins to elytra, brown or black and pubescent. Antennae 11 segmented and short, serrate or pectinate, rarely filiform, gradually thickened from 5th segment. Elytra broad and truncate leaving pygidium exposed, with 10 distinct striae but no scutellar striae. Hind legs usually modified, femora dilated and with apical spur to tibiae. Tarsi pseudotetramerous with elongate basal segment, metatarsus may be as long as metatibiae.

Nine native British species plus six introduced in foodstuff from abroad inhabit the UK. Other species are occasionally found but are not resident. Adults attack young pods of Fabaceae, the larvae develop within ripening or freshly ripened pods and may cause infestations within harvested crops. They are easily found by sweeping low vegetation and are often seen on umbels during hot summer weather.

The most recent work providing keys and much information on our species is by Cox. Joy's key does not cover all our species and contains some errors (Hodge).


Acanthoscelides
obtectus

Bruchidius
varius

Bruchidius
varius

Bruchidius
villosus

Bruchus
atomarius

Bruchus
rufimanus

Bruchus
rufipes

Bruchus
loti


Donaciinae
Donaciinae contains 21 spp. in 3 genera. Commonly known as reed beetles, these are medium sized, 4.5-13mm, and of characteristic appearance, unlikely to be confused with any other group. They are usually active in sunshine and many occur in large numbers, Donacia and Plateumaris spp. are metallic and often brightly coloured, can move quickly and fly readily, nonetheless are easily observed. Sweeping waterside vegetation is the easiest way to find them, especially among dense vegetation where they may be cryptic when clinging tightly to stems or under leaves. Tapping overhanging vegetation into a beating tray can be effective, either way specimens will usually fall onto the the water surface where they can be scooped up with a net. Macroplea species are aquatic and may be found by dredging around the base of their host plants with a robust pond net.

Our three genera are most easily separated on the form of the elytral apices.

In our two Macroplea (5-7.5mm) species the elytral apex is sinuate and toothed externally. Unmetallic, testaceous to black species with long slender tarsi, third segment simple which is unique in British Donaciinae. Adults generally remain submerged on waterplants e.g Potamogetan (Fennel pondweed), Zostera (Eelgrass) or Myriophyllum (Water milfoil) etc., and are active throughout the summer. Both are very local with patchy English distribution (Cox) although M.appendiculata (Panz.) extends into southern Scotland. Adults have a long season, occurring from early spring to October.

Our 15 species of Donacia have the elytra truncate apically, shortest at the sutural angle, in side view they taper more or less evenly from base to apex. Looking through Cox's new atlas we should expect at least six species from our area. Adults are seasonal, some species occur from early spring to early summer while others appear in midsummer and are active until the autumn. For this reason and because at a glance Donacia species are similar they should be examined from spring to autumn. Some species are monophagous e.g. D.marginata Hoppe on Spargomium erectum (Branched Bur-reed) while others have a narrow range of hostplants e.g. D.semicuprea Panz. on Glyceria maxima (Reed Sweet grass) or G.notata (Plicate Sweet grass). D.simplex Fab. is found on various reeds, rushes and sedges (Cox, Atlas). Eggs are usually laid in groups on aquatic foliage. Late summer species overwinter as larvae and pupate in the spring to emerge in the summer. Early species pupate in the autumn appearing as adults in the spring.

Our four Plateumaris species have rounded elytral apices and when viewed from the side are widest after the middle with a well rounded declivity. Two species, P.sericea (L.) and P.affinis (Kunze) should be expected from our area. P.affinis and P.braccata (Scopoli) occur from April to July while P.discolor (Panz.) and P.serica have a much longer season, both recorded from March to December. All are widely distributed throughout England and Wales, P.discolor and P.serica also throughout Scotland.

Joy's handbook covers all our species but can be frustrating and ambiguous, often leaving the user less than confident. The most up to date key in English is that of Cox and Menzies.

Donacia
marginata

Donacia
semicuprea

Donacia
simplex

Donacia
simplex

Donacia
vulgaris

Plateumaris
sericea

Plateumaris
sericea


Criocerinae
4 genera, 8 species. Distinctive, elongate and often vividly coloured, thorax always narrower than elytra at shoulders and never bordered. Includes Lily beetle and Asparagus beetle. Lema and Oulema are often found by sweeping or in winter moss samples.

Oulema erichsoni (Suffrian) is very rare with only a couple of recent records. O.septentrionis (Weisse) is restricted to Ireland. Joy's key is nowadays not very useful; Lilioceris is not included and Oulema has now been split ╣

╣ Cox, M.L.,1995. Identification of the Oulema melanopus species group. The Coleopterist, 4:33-36.

Crioceris
asparagi

Lema
cyanella

Lilioceris
lilii

Oulema
melanopus

Oulema
obscura

Oulema
rufocyanea


Lamprosomatinae
A single species Oomorphus concolor (Sturm). 2-3mm. Oval, shining black with a bronze reflection. Second antennal segment yellow. Tibiae dilated and smooth on outer side. Widespread across southern England and Wales, adults may be beaten from Ivy growing on treetrunks.


Oomorphus
concolor


Cryptocephalinae
4 genera, 24 species. 20spp. in Cryptocephalus. Parallel sided insects with the head hidden from above in Cryptocephalus. All are distinctly coloured and stenophagus.

Labidostomis tridentata (L.) is known from only a few English sites. Clytra laeviscula Ratz. is probably extinct. C.quadripunctata (L.) is widespread across England and Scotland being associated with several species of ant. Smaragdina affinis (Illiger) was last recorded in 1965 (Gloucestershire, Cox). Of our 20 spp. of Cryptocephalus a dozen or so are very local and C.violaceus Laich. is now considered extinct (Hyman and Parsons). Although several are widespread only a couple can be considered at all common e.g C.labiatus (L.), C.aureolus Suffrian or C.pusillus Fab. (Cox). With the exception of Clytra laeviscula Ratz. all species are keyed in Joy.

Clytra
quadripunctata

Cryptocephalus
aureolus

Cryptocephalus
bipunctatus

Cryptocephalus
fulvus

Cryptocephalus
labiatus

Cryptocephalus
moraei

Cryptocephalus
pusillus

Cryptocephalus
pusillus


Eumolpinae
One species, Bromius obscurus (L.) recently added to the British list from Cheshire on Epilobium ╣. 5-6mm, black with yellowish pubescence. Basal antennal segments orange/red.

╣Keichel, P. 1982 Ent.Mon.Mag.117: 233-234

Chrysomelinae
11 genera, 45 spp.. 2.5-18mm. Brightly coloured and usually shining metallic species. Glabrous, generally round or oval and very convex. Antennae often gradually thickened towards apex, inserted beneath side margin of head and widely placed, further apart than the length of the basal joint. Mostly stenophagus, found by beating shrubs or trees or general sweeping. Several species are pests of cultivated crops including the notorious Colorado beetle.

Considering the size of this subfamily surprisingly few species have been added since the publication of Joy's handbook. Leptinotarsa decimlineata Say, the Colorado beetle, is occasionally introduced but has never been established. Chrysolina americana (L.) ╣ is now established and widespread, being found on Lavender and Rosemary. Chrysomela tremula Fab. was last recorded in 1958 and is now variously considered extinct ▓. Phratora (=Phyllodecta in Joy) polaris Schneider is included in Morris's key to the British species.

╣ Johnson, C. 1964. Ent.Mon.Mag. 99:228-229 for diagnostic note.
▓ Warren, M.S. & Key, R.S. 1991. The conservation of insects and their habitats, Symposia of the Royal Entomological Society of London. 15:155-211.
│ Morris, M.G. 1970. Ent.Mon.Mag. 106:48-53. Description, figures and key to British species of Phratora.


Chrysolina
americana

Chrysolina
herbacea

Chrysolina
hyperici

Chrysolina
marginata

Chrysolina
oricalcia

Chrysolina
polita

Chrysolina
violacea

Gastrophysa
polygoni

Gastrophysa
viridula

Gonioctena
decemnotata

Gonioctena
olivacea

Gonioctena
olivacea

Gonioctena
viminalis

Gonioctena
viminalis

Gonioctena
viminalis

Hydrothassa
marginella

Phaedon
armoraciae

Phaedon
cochleariae

Phaedon
tumidulus

Phaedon
tumidulus

Phratora
laticollis

Phratora
vitellinae

Phratora
vulgatissima

Plagiodera
versicolora

Prasocuris
junci

Timarcha
tenebricosa

Timarcha
goettingensis


Galerucinae
Includes species of two distinct forms; in the Galerucini all femora are similar and unmodified, species of the Alticini have the hind femora greatly enlarged and used for jumping (but see Scirpes, Orchestes and Oedemera.) Antennae placed close together on forehead, at least as close as the length of basal joint. Usually stenophagous with many species of arable pests. Most larvae feed externally on leaves, the Alticini are generally root feeders. Several genera present formidable problems with identification.
Galerucini 11 genera, 20 spp. Alticini 22 genera, 124 spp.

Joy's key works reasonably well with the Galerucini but those covering the Alticini are not very useful; on the one hand there have been many additions since Joy's day, on the other it must be said that several e.g. Phyllotreta, Aphthona, will not work without at least some comparative material, others are very difficult e.g. Altica and Longitarsus, even with Kevan's 1960's keys they still present many problems. Hodge and Jones' book will update the group but there have been additions, Cox's atlas contains references to cover the group to 2007.

Tribe Galerucini

Galeruca
tanaceti

Galerucella
calmariensis

Galerucella
nymphaeae

Galerucella
sagittariae

Galerucella
tenella

Lochmaea
caprea

Lochmaea
crataegi

Lochmaea
suturalis

Luperus
longicornis

Luperus
longicornis

Pyrrhalta
viburni

Sermylassa
halensis
Tribe Alticini

Altica
helianthemi

Altica
lythri

Altica
oleracea

Aphthona
atrocaerula

Aphthona
euphorbiae

Aphthona
lutescens

Aphthona
nonstriata

Apteropeda
globosa

Apteropeda
orbiculata

Chaetocnema
concinna

Chaetocnema
hortensis

Chaetocnema
picipes

Crepidodera
aurata

Crepidodera
aurea

Crepidodera
aurea

Crepidodera
fulvicornis

Crepidodera
fulvicornis

Crepidodera
fulvicornis

Crepidodera
nitidula

Crepidodera
plutus

Epitrix
pubescens

Hermaeophaga
mercurialis

Hippuriphila
modeeri

Longitarsus
dorsalis

Longitarsus
exoletus

Longitarsus
flavicornis

Longitarsus
luridus

Longitarsus
Kutscherae

Longitarsus
melanocephalus

Longitarsus
parvulus

Longitarsus
rubiginosus

Luperomorpha
xanthodera

Neocrepidodera
ferruginea

Neocrepidodera
transversa

Phyllotreta
atra

Phyllotreta
consobrina

Phyllotreta
cruciferae

Phyllotreta
diademata

Phyllotreta
nigripes

Phyllotreta
nodicornis

Phyllotreta
ochripes

Phyllotreta
ochripes

Phyllotreta
undulata

Phyllotreta
vittula

Podagrica
fuscicornis

Psylliodes
affinis

Psylliodes
chalcomera

Psylliodes
chrysocephala

Psylliodes
chrysocephala

Psylliodes
luteola

Psylliodes
napi

Psylliodes
picina

Sphaeroderma
rubidum

Sphaeroderma
testaceum


Cassidinae
3 genera, 14 spp. Tortoise beetles. Of a very distinctive form; broad and flat, underside not visible from side and head completely hidden under thorax. Antennae gradually thickened, never clubbed. Usually green or yellow, unmetallic, Pilemostoma fastuosa (Schaller) is a beautiful red and black patterned beetle found across southern England. Hypocassida subferruginea (Schrank) is probably extinct (Hyman and Parsons). Cassida dentatus Suffrian is rare with only a few records from southern England and one from Scotland. Joy's key omits Hypocassida and C.denticollis Suffrian ╣ which is very rare in Britain. Stenophagus, found by sweeping.

╣ Kevan, D.K. Ent.Mon.Mag 1963 99:168-174. Description and key with discussion on C.prasina


Cassida
flaveola

Cassida
prasina

Cassida
rubiginosa

Cassida
vibex

Cassida
viridis
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