hispine leaf beetle

(Microrhopala xerene)

Conservation Status
hispine leaf beetle (Microrhopala xerene)
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Microrhopala xerene is a very small, to 3 16 (3.6 to 4.9 mm) long, leaf-mining beetle. The body is elongated and nearly parallel-sided, only slightly widened toward the rear.

The hardened plate on the upper side of the thorax (pronotum) is black and is narrower than the base of the hardened forewings (elytra).

The elytra have rows of punctures bordered by distinct ridges. There is a red stripe and a red subapical spot on each elytra. The margins of the elytra are toothed (serrated).

The head is black and slants backward. The part of the face between the eyes corresponding to the forehead (frons) is distinctly angled. The eyes are large and black and are not notched. The mouth parts are small. The antennae are black and short, less than half as long as the body. They have 11 segments but the terminal segments are fused together, making them appear to have just 8 segments.

The legs are black. The last part of each leg (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, is black and has five segments. The fourth segment is very short and is concealed within the broadened tip of the third segment, making the tarsus appear to have only four segments.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: to 3 16

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Various plants in the aster (Asteraceae) family

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

 

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

The larvae are leaf miners. They feed between the upper and lower leaf surfaces.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Leaves of the same plants that the adults feed on

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Leaves of various plants in the aster (Asteraceae) family, including:

Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)
common blue wood aster (Symphyotrichum cordifolium)
early goldenrod (Solidago juncea)
New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)
purple-stem aster (Symphyotrichum puniceum var. puniceum)
western ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya)
white doll’s daisy (Boltonia asteroides)
white panicled aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum)

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 29, 30.

 
  7/4/2018      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Widely distributed

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Coleoptera (beetles)  
 

Suborder

Polyphaga (water, rove, scarab, longhorn, leaf and snout beetles)  
 

Infraorder

Cucujiformia  
 

Superfamily

Chrysomeloidea (long-horned and leaf beetles)  
 

Family

Chrysomelidae (leaf beetles)  
 

Subfamily

Cassidinae (tortoise beetles and the hispines)  
 

Tribe

Chalepini  
 

Genus

Microrhopala  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

This species has no common name. The common name of the former subfamily Hispinae (now moved to the subfamily Cassidinae with the tortoise beetles) is hispine leaf beetles, and is applied here for convenience.

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Elytra

The hardened or leathery forewings on an insect used to protect the fragile hindwings, which are used for flying, in beetles and true bugs.

 

Frons

The upper part of an insect’s face, roughly corresponding to the forehead.

 

Pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 

Tarsus

The last two to five subdivisions of an insect’s leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. Plural: tarsi.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Alfredo Colon

 
 

a small insect

 
    hispine leaf beetle (Microrhopala xerene)      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           
           

 

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  Alfredo Colon
6/6/2018

Location: Woodbury, MN

a small insect

hispine leaf beetle (Microrhopala xerene)  
           
 
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