Cedar Creek
Ecosystem Science Reserve

Insects of Cedar Creek



(Leaf Beetles)

(Table of Species)(Pictorial Key to Subfamilies)

The Leaf Beetles of CCESR are diverse but seldom collected in large numbers. More than 120 species have been collected. This large Family contains 1481 NA species.  Species in a few genera remain undetermined. They will be treated by subfamily with an emphasis on host and habitat.

Members of this Subfamily are aquatic, their larvae tapping the submerged stems of host plants both for food and oxygen. The elongate, metallic adults are abundant on Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) and commonly seen on lily pads or shoreline vegetation. Genera collected include Donacia (5 spp--distinctus, cincticornis, aequalis, piscatrix, rufescens?), Plateumaris (3 spp--emarginataflavipes, rufa?). Sominella harrisi and Neohaemonia nigricornis? also collected. Of these: P. emarginata is the common blue-black species found on marsh marigold near Cedar Bog Lake. D. piscatrix, D. cincticornis, and N. nigricornis occur on lily pads on Fish Lake. More work is required to verify identities, as well as establish habitat and host relationships of these species.

Orsodacne atra is a polymorphic species found on Salix in Minnesota.  Not collected at Cedar Creek.

Syneta ferruginea is an uncommon species in savanna (Host: Quercus?).

Zeugophora puberula? and Z. varians? have been taken from Salix and Populus respectively.

Coscinoptera dominicana (host--leadplant?) is found on a variety of plants, often oak in savanna habitat.  Anomoea laticlavia is another species reported to feed on legumes, but I find it most frequently on choke cherry. It has been taken in small numbers from a variety of fields, but only on even numbered years. Babia quadripunctata occurs in Minnesota, but has as yet not been collected on Cedar Creek.

Exema canadensis is infrequently collected from Solidago canadensis and S. gigantea in fields. Neochlamisus (3+spp--chamaedaphnes, bebbianae, eubati, alni?) are dark brassy colored and resemble caterpillar frass.  Larvae construct a case from their own excrement and feed on foliage. N. chamaedaphnes feeds on leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne) in Beckman Lake Bog and is frequently parasitized by a large Chalcidoid. N. eubati occurs on Rosa and Rubus in field situations, and N. bebbianae? is often common on hazel (Corylus). The few individuals found on alder and dogwood may be different species or accidentals.

Species of Pachybrachis are common and widespread but occur most abundantly in xeric, bluestem, and burned prairie habitats. This is a very large genus with over 150 NA species having casebearing larvae.  Perhaps eight species have been collected, but they have not been regularly differentiated. The following ID's are tentative. The most common are P. BK (carbonarius--Lespedeza) and  P. B/W (2 different species?--femoratus?, spumarius? on Rumex, Rosa). P. morosus is larger black and hairy and has been taken from hazel. P. BK/RD (P. trinotatus?) is found in little bluestem fields. Smaller numbers of P. luridus?, P. othonus?, and P. 'gargantua' also collected.  See Photo Album. Perhaps five species of Cryptocephalus have been collected.  C. notatus 4-maculatus (Fragaria) been collected sparingly in a few fields. C. calidus (Asteraceae) is common in a variety of fields in mid-summer. C. mutabilis (Prunus) is an uncommon species of savanna and open woodland. C. quadruplex? (sumac) and C. tinctus? have also been collected. Lexiphanes saponatus (medium), Diachus auratus (small) and Triachus sp (tiny) are three relatively uncommon species collected in this subfamily.  The genus Bassareus is found in Minnesota but has not been collected at Cedar Creek.

Lema collaris is common on its host spiderwort (Tradescantia) in the burned fields in the SE part of CCESR. Lema trilineata has been collected sparingly from Ground Cherry (Physalis) in several fields where its host is present. Crioceris 12-punctata and Crioceris asparagi have been found on wild growing Asparagus.

Trirhabda canadensis is common on its host plant Solidago canadensis, S. gigantea,  and S. missouriensis in several fields. Trirhabda adela is an uncommon species found on its host Helianthusrigidus in MEM.  Trirhabda virgata possibly collected. Galeruca browni is common on its host Arabis divaricarpa in dry-weedy fields. Diabrotica 11-punctata and Diabrotica barberi are fairly common in weedy Poa fields in late summer. Acalymma vittata and Acalymma trivittata  are two uncommon species. Ophraella (5 spp--artemisieae, cribrata, conferta, communa, notata) and Pyrrhalta (4 spp--decora, quebecensis, nymphaea, alni) are a confusing group of small brown chrysomelids. I thank Doug Futuyma (Univ. of NY, Stonybrook) for determining these species. O. artemisieae is common to abundant on its host Artemisia ludoviciana. O. cribrata and O. communa are uncommon species of prairie. O. conferta (Helianthus giganteus) and O. notata (Eupatorium perfoliatum) occur in wet situations. P. decora is common on willow (Salix), and P. nymphaea is found on lily pads. Few specimens of the other two species of Pyrrhalta have been collected. Cerotoma trifurcata (Amphicarpa) and Phyllobrotica limbata? (host--Scutellaria?) are two uncommon field species.  The Elm Leaf Beetle, Xanthogaleruca luteola, has been collected near here.  Minnesota genera in this Subfamily not represented at CCESR include:  Monoxia, Scelolyperus.

The genus Calligrapha (7+spp--alni, elegans, praecelsis, multipunctata, scalaris, rhoda, rowena) contains the robust ovoid forms one readily recognizes as a Chrysomelid. These species are most common in woodlands. Hosts are: C. elegans (Bidens), C. praecelsis (xx), C. scalaris (Betula), C. alni (Alnus), C. multipunctata (Salix), C. rhoda (Corylus), C. rowena (Cornus alternifolia). None appear to be very abundant. Searching a Pagoda Dogwood or Hazel Bush would result in 0-2 individuals being found. Entomoscelis americana is common on its host Berteroa incana in weedy fields in early summer and again in late fall. Zygogramma exclamationis has been taken in small numbers primarily from weedy-brome fields (host??). Labidomera clivicollis is occasionally found on its host, Asclepias incarnata, in marshy environs. Leptinotarsa decemlineata can find a potato patch wherever one plants it. Chrysomela (Lina) interrupta (Alnus) and Chrysomela (Lina) scripta (Salix) are two common to abundant species of shrub-carr. Plagiodera versicolora (ovoid cyaneus) can be common on Salix and Phratora purpurea? (elongate purple) on  aspen (Populus tremuloides). Hydrothassa vittata is an uncommon black-and-yellow striped species found on Caltha palustris. Gastrophysa polygoni is an uncommon species found on bindweed (Polygonum).  Minnesota genera in this Subfamily not collected at CCESR include: Gonioctena, Phaedon, and Prasocuris.

Larvae of this subfamily are primarily root-feeders, but adults are routinely taken on the host plant. Conspicuous but infrequently collected is the metallic-green Dogbane Leaf Beetle, Chrysochus auratus. Colaspis suilla-borealis (host ??) is a common mid-summer species collected from a variety of fields. Graphops pubescens is taken in small numbers from its host Oenothera spp. Paria canellus + varieties is found in a few fields containing its host strawberry (Fragaria). Metachroma (2+spp--angustulum, laevicolle?) are two uncommon species that appear associated with prairie willow and sumac. Some forms are dark and others are pale. Seldom encountered species include: Rhabdopterus picipes (Vitis?) and Brachypnoea puncticollis (Rosa).  Minnesota genera in this Subfamily not represented at CCESR include:  Xanthonia, Fidia, Colaspidea, Glyptoscelis, Tymes, and Bromius.

This large group of Flea Beetles has given me taxonomic headaches. Blepharida rhois (host--sumac) is fairly common on smooth sumac in ecotonal regions. Members of the genus Disonycha(4+spp--latifrons, triangularis, xanthomelas, crenicollis?, pennsylvanica?) are large, strikingly marked, and fairly common. D. latifrons occurs on Solidago rigida, D. triangularis on Rumex, D. crenicollis? on Salix, D. xanthomelas on Chenopodium. The genus Oedionychus (species with globose swellings on their hind tarsi) is now divided into Kuschelina and Capraita.  Four species have been collected. O. (Capraita) with three species (thyamoides, circumdata?, scalaris?) are infrequently collected.  Only O. thyamoides is regularly taken in SYS, host unknown. O. (Kuschelina) gibbitarsa is a large blue-and-red species found on Menthe?.  Altica (4+spp--chalybea, fuscoaenea, ignita?, carinata?) are small dark species. A. chalybea is a blue species found on Vitis. A. fuscoaenea is sometimes common on its host Oenothera. A. ignita? (host xx) is seldom collected. A. carinata? is a metallic red species collected only from dry prairie (POT).
Perhaps five species of Chaetocnema have been collected from CCESR old fields. This genus feeds primarily on legumes, but species have not been regularly differentiated. Tentative ID's include C. cribata, C. protensa, C. confinis, C. cribrifrons, C. parcepunctata. They are taken in small numbers from a variety of fields. Three species of Systena have been collected sparingly: vis. S. elongata (host--Vicia), S. frontalis (host--Chenopodium?), and S.hudsonias (host--xx).   Hypolampsis mellyi?  (host--?Sporobolus) has been collected primarily from xeric fields in midsummer. It is a hairy species with globose swellings on its hind tarsi. Psylliodes punctulata? (host--Trifolium?) has been collected from a few fields. Seldom encountered species include: Aphthona sp, Epitrix spp, Crepidodera sp, Longitarsus spp, Mantura floridana?, Phyllotreta spp, and Dibolia spp. Minnesota genera in this Subfamily not collected at CCESR include: Orthaltica...

The Tortoise Beetles generally specialize on the Convolvulaceae and have only been infrequently collected. Chelymorpha cassidea was collected from CBLr and SWE; Charidiotella bicolor and Agroiconota bivittata  from CBLr: Jonthonota nigripes from CBLr and Deloyala guttata?? from PMS and RC. All these fields contain Morning Glory. Plagiometriona clavata has been collected near here.  Other Minnesota representatives of this Subfamily are ?Gratiana pallidula? and Physonota unipunctata.

These beetles are leaf-miners as larvae. Microrhopala vittata (host--Solidago) is an uncommon species of prairie (CNW,CSW,TMG).  Microrhopala ? cyanea (host--Helianthus rigidus) has been taken from dry prairie (MEM,RSE,RSW). Microrhopala excavata has been taken from Solidago canadensis in TMG. Odontota dorsalis (host--Desmodium) has been taken in TMG. Odontota scapularis is common on its host Hog Peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata) in savanna and woods. Anisostena nigrita? has been collected from RC and in small numbers in savanna regions. A few individuals of Brachycoryna sp. have been collected from CNW and HAS. Sumitrosis rosea (host--Ribes, Laportea?), Sumitrosis inaequalis   (host--legumes?),  and Baliosus nervosa (host--Tilia) are uncommon woodland species.

webmaster@cedarcreek.umn.edu Last updated March 2001