Sunday 17 January 2016

Notomela joliveti: A new species of Flea Beetle from Principe Island.

Flea Beetles, Alticini, are highly specialized Leaf Beetles, Chrysomelidae, which get their common name from their highly modified rear legs, which enable them to make sudden long jumps when threatened. They are small for Leaf Beetles, though not exceptionally so, and are herbivorous, with each species favoring a particular host plant, and some being serious agricultural pests.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 17 December 2015, Maurizio Biondi and Paola D’Alessandro of the Department of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of L’Aquila describe a new species of Flea Beetle from Principe Island off the west coast of Africa.

The new species is placed in the genus Notomela, which is widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa, and given the specific name joliveti, in honour of the entomologist Pierre Jolivet a preeminent worker in the field of Leaf Beetles. The species is described from three male specimens collected on the island in 1901 and housed at the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale in Genova. The new species is smaller than other members of the genus at 3,9-4.2 mm in length, and is a uniform greenish black in colour, unlike other members of the genus which have light brown heads and thoraxes. The host plant for this species is unknown.

Notomela joliveti, male specimen in dorsal view. Biondi & D'Alessandro (2015).

See also... tianmuensis: A new species of Myrmecophilic Aleocharine Rove Beetle from Zhejiang Province, China.                     Aleocharine Rove Beetles are small Rove... tuberculatus: A Clown Beetle from Cretaceous Burmese Amber.           Clown Beetles, Histeridae, are a diverse group of carnivorous Beetles found across the globe. They are easy to distinguish, the elytra (wing cases) that do not cover the ends of their abdomens and club-like tips to their antennae. They occupy a wide range of... gigas: A new species of Rove Beetle from Guangxi Province, China.                  Rove Beetles, Staphylinidae, of the genus Awas are tiny Beetles with elongate heads and constricted waists found living in Ant's nests on the Malay Peninsula, in Taiwan and in continental China. The group is poorly understood, with three of the five described species being known only from a sngle specimen, and...
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