hispine leaf beetle

(Sumitrosis inaequalis)

Conservation Status
hispine leaf beetle (Sumitrosis inaequalis)
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Sumitrosis inaequalis) is a leaf-mining hispine leaf beetle. It is common in the United States east of the Great Plains. It is uncommon in the West, on the Great Plains, and in Minnesota.

Adults are very small, to 3 16 (3.5 to 4.4 mm) long. The body is elongated and nearly parallel-sided, only slightly widened toward the rear. The coloration is variable.

The hardened plate on the upper side of the thorax (pronotum) is wider than long but narrower than the base of the hardened forewings (elytra), brownish-yellow, and dotted with deep pits (punctate).

The elytra have are brownish-yellow with several black spots and rows of punctures bordered by distinct ridges. The margins of the elytra are toothed (serrated). The pattern of spots distinguishes this beetle from other species in the same genus.

The head is brownish yellow. The eyes are large and black and are not notched. The mouth parts are small. The antennae are black, have eight segments, and are short, less than half as long as the body.

The legs are light brownish-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.

The coloration of the head, pronotum, and elytra is variable. The black spots may be small and sharply defined, or large, fuzzy, and merging with adjacent spots. A dark form of this beetle has the colors reversed, with light spots on a dark background.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: to 3 16

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

 

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

 

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

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

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

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

aster (Symphyotrichum)
boneset (Eupatorium)
coneflower (Rudbeckia)
goldenrod (Solidago)
ironweed (Vernonia)
ragweed (Ambrosia)
sunflower (Helianthus)

Possibly also plants in the Pea (Fabaceae) family.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Leaves of various woody and herbaceous plants, including:

black locust (Robinia)
elm (Ulmus)
fir (Abies)
leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne)
milkweed (Asclepias)
nightshade (Solanum)
oak (Quercus)
partridge pea (Chamaecrista)
pine (Pinus)
spruce (Picea)
sumac (Rhus)
willow herb (Epilobium)

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 29, 30.

 
  11/1/2018      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon in Minnesota.

 
         
 
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

Sumitrosis  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Anoplitis inaequalis

Sumitrosis arnetti

 
       
 

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.

 

Punctate

Dotted with pits (punctures), transluscent sunken glands, or colored spots of pigment.

 

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

 
    hispine leaf beetle (Sumitrosis inaequalis)      
 

 

 
 

 

 
           
           
 
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  Alfredo Colon
6/8/2018

Location: Woodbury, MN

hispine leaf beetle (Sumitrosis inaequalis)  
           
 
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