July 14, 2018

VIDEO TEST


Sterile Insect Technique: False Codling Moth on citrus in South Africa.


Proudly South African technology

Posted on July 14, 2018 22:45 by beetledude beetledude | 8 comments | Leave a comment

May 06, 2018

Beetledude's Notes & Tips, No 2: Those small, black, white-spotted fruit chafers

 
COLEOPTERA: SCARABAEIDAE: CETONIINAE: CETONIINI: CETONIINA
 
 

Those small, black, white-spotted fruit chafers: Genus Cyrtothyrea

••• SOUTHERN AFRICA ONLY •••

 
 
In their fieldguide, Picker, Griffiths & Weaving (2002, 2004) made Cyrthothyrea marginalis famous as the Common Dotted Fruit Chafer (PGW2004: 200.4). Nothing wrong with that, but what about all those other Cyrtothyrea species? They all look the same if you do not have secret information. Here is some of that secret information.

First, four things should be noted:

    ○ Cyrthothyrea is a difficult genus.
    ○ Cyrthothyrea is an unrevised genus (one of only two southern African fruit chafer genera without a modern treatment).
    ○ These notes and keys are complete for southern Africa only. Further north there are more species, and a lot more confusion.
    ○ There are more small, black, white-spotted fruit chafers in other genera, however less likely to be encountered. Notes to follow maybe someday.

 
 

Two subgenera


Some experts split the species of the genus Cyrthothyrea into two subgenera, which is useful, but only in southern Africa. This is a tentative arrangement, but thank goodness for these subgenera! They are:

      (1) The nominotypical subgenus, Cyrtothyrea (Cyrtothyrea), and
      (2) Subgenus Cyrtothyrea (Manodema).

In the iNaturalist dictionary these subgenera are not indicated. Click on 'Taxonomy' HERE to see the species of the genus. And here is a quick summary of which species belong to which subgenus:

    Subgenus 1: Cyrtothyrea (Cyrtothyrea) Cyrtothyrea albomaculata Cyrtothyrea marginalis Cyrtothyrea testaceoguttata Subgenus 2: Cyrtothyrea (Manodema) Cyrtothyrea rubriceps Cyrtothyrea ruficeps

 
 

Simple key to the two subgenera of Cyrtothyrea

Obviously this little key will only work when the necessary detail is in focus, which will be most of the time not. Don't get a fright!:
    ○ The orange or red on the head of the second subgenus is conspicuous.
    ○ The second subgenus is tropical, reaching southern Africa only at its northern limits. For almost all Cyrtothyrea from South Africa this subgenus (Manodema) may be disregarded as an option. Moreover, species of subgenus Manodema are all much less spotty than the Common Dotted and the Another Dotted Fruit Chafers that are well known and well represented on iNaturalist.
 
► Clypeus, antennae & pygidium black, remainder of integument black with white spots; one species with anterior margins of pronotum reddish; some specimens with entire integument reddish brown instead of black ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... Cyrtothyrea (Cyrtothyrea)
 
► Clypeus, antennae & pygidium yellowish orange to reddish, remainder of integument shiny black; with white spots ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... Cyrtothyrea (Manodema)

 
 

Subgenus 1: Cyrtothyrea (Cyrtothyrea): species


Three species::

1. Black (or sometimes reddish brown) with a lot of small or smallish white spots. Occurs in South Africa ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... go to 2
 
– Black with a smaller number of medium-sized to fairly large white spots. Central Mozambique to Tanzania ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... East African Dotted Fruit Chafer – – Cyrtothyrea albomaculata.
 
 
2. Lateral margins of pronotum always reddish brown ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... Common Dotted Fruit Chafer – – Cyrtothyrea marginalis.
 
– Lateral margins of pronotum with white stripe, which may be broken ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... Another Dotted Fruit Chafer – – Cyrtothyrea testaceoguttata.

 
 

Subgenus 2: Cyrtothyrea (Manodema): species


Two species::*

1. Lateral margins of pronotum with one or two white spots; disc of pronotum with a pair of rows that each consists of three spots or flecks. Central Africa, south to central and eastern Zimbabwe and central Mozambique ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... Cyrtothyrea ruficeps.
 
– Lateral margins of pronotum with zero to three white spots; disc of pronotum without spots. Zambezi Valley; Zimbabwe/Mozambique border (mountains); southern Mozambique & northern KZN (coast & lowlands) ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... Cyrtothyrea rubriceps.
 
 
No examples of Cyrtothyrea (Manodema) on iNaturalist yet. As of today.

*Cyrtothyrea (M.) pygidialis has been excluded deliberately.

_____________________
Version 1. 2018-05-06.

 
 
If you are one of the fortunate people who own a copy of the "Blue Book" (Holm & Marais 1992, Fruit Chafers of Southern Africa), please note:
There are a significant number of mistakes in the illustrations published, the corresponding names, the corresponding figure numbers, and the figure references in the text, concerning the genera Cyrtothyrea and Leucocelis (Plates 28–30).

 
 
Did you know that there is a huge and brand new book with colour photos of all the fruit chafers of the Afrotropical Region? Detail (review maybe?) in a future posting. I'm still saving for my copy. It weighs a lot of money.
 
 

Posted on May 06, 2018 02:40 by beetledude beetledude | 6 comments | Leave a comment

March 12, 2018

Beetledude's Notes & Tips, No 1: Searsia Flea Beetles

 
COLEOPTERA: CHRYSOMELIDAE: GALERUCINAE: ALTICINI

Searsia Flea Beetles: Calotheca and Blepharidina


The concept of the genus Blepharida (Rhus Flea Beetles) is now confined to the New World (plus some presence in Eurasia), as had been suspected for some time. This change was in 2016 properly motivated and formalised IN HERE. What we used to know as "Blepharida" in the Afrotropical Region are species now placed in the two GENERA Calotheca and Blepharidina, the latter genus with two subgenera, Blepharidina (Blepharidina) and Blepharidina (Afroblepharida).
 
 

    The genus Calotheca is widespread through sub-Saharan Africa, especially in the southern and eastern areas, but one species penetrates to Arabia and Palestine. The preliminary species count for Calotheca is 27, with 21 species in southern Africa. ◘ The genus Blepharidina occurs in the intertropical area of Africa.

    Blepharidina s. str. is mostly distributed from CAR/DRC in the north towards the south of the intertropical area, as far south as the Zambezi River valley, plus in Mozambique down to the very south, which makes one expect it to be found in e Zimbabwe, Swaziland and ne South Africa as well.
    Blepharidina (Afroblepharida) occurs largely in the central eastern intertropical area with some spread to West Africa, i.e. from Somalia/Kenya to Burkina Faso, but always north of the Congo Basin, and to its east in Uganda & Tanzania.

    Revision at genus level was completed first, by Biondi, Frasca, Grobbelaar & D'Allessandro (2016).
    Revisions at species level are presently continuing.
    Already published is the revision of the subgenus Blepharidina (Afroblepharida), by D'Allessandro, Frasca, Grobbelaar, Iannella & Biondi (2017).
     

    CORRECTION TO PGW2004
    If you use the South African insect field guide by Picker-Griffiths-Weaving (2004), make the following correction. Use a pen.

      ►PGW2004: 250.2 shows one of these beetles, necessarily as the genus Blepharida. Change that to Calotheca. May as well update the English common name to 'Searsia Flea Beetles' also, since Rhus was taxonomically banished from the Afrotropics even before the insect guide was published. Karee is Searsia.

     
     

    HOST PLANTS


    Although they are called Searsia Flea Beetles, these insects have other hostplants also, depending to a great extent on the species of beetle. Calotheca species have been recorded from the following plant genera:

      Anacardiaceae: Searsia (usually recorded as Rhus), Ozoroa, Schinus. Burseraceae: Commiphora.

    Absolutely no hostplant information exists for Blepharidina (Afroblepharida). The information for Blepharidina s. str. has not been published yet.
     
    It is expected that at least some of the beetle species will be host-specific to at least a number of hostplant species, and one-to-one relationships are not impossible. But there are too little information to make any conclusions. Citizen scientists (YOU!) can contribute greatly to this by recording (with picture-proof) the plants on which you found any beetles that you contribute to iNaturalist. With this series of revisions progressing rather well, it will soon become possible to identify these large flea beetles to species level. At last!
     
     
     

    Key to the Searsia Flea Beetle genera


    A key to tell Calotheca from Blepharidina, and the two subgenera of the latter, apart on good photographs.
     
    This key is based on that of Biondi &al (2016), but for Blepharidina I rather severely modified it following new information published by D’Alessandro &al (2017).
     
    An instructional, educational, reasonable, justifiable, legitimately used copy of the figures referred to in the key can be found below. In case of an attack by the Avaricious Press Police, the pictures are also safely placed OVER HERE.
     
     
    1.     Frontal grooves on head elongate, sinuate, and deeply impressed; extending from upper eye margin to distal margin of antennal protuberances (Fig. 2). Clypeus not depressed (Fig. 2). Pronotum with two striae formed by some large and deeply impressed punctures running from anterior pronotal margin towards pronotal disc, sometimes L or C shaped (Fig. 4). Pronotal punctation mostly homogeneous and uniformly distributed (Fig. 4). Distribution throughout the Afrotropics ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... Calotheca ...... ..... CLICK!
     
    ––     Frontal grooves on head short, generally very slightly impressed (Fig. 1). Clypeus depressed (Fig. 1). Pronotum with more oblique, transversally or vertically-oriented striae of large punctures (Figs. 5, 6). Pronotal punctation clearly non-homogenous and distributed in patches (Figs. 5, 6) ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... 2
     
     
    2.     Lateral margin of pronotum in lateral view regularly rounded. Both anterior and posterior margins of pronotum narrower medially than laterally. Base of pronotum with two small lateral dimples. Elytral punctation in double rows or bands or mostly irregular. Distribution east & north of the Congo Basin ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... Blepharidina (Afroblepharida)
     
    ––     Lateral margin of pronotum in lateral view distinctly sinuate. Both anterior and posterior margins of pronotum wide, sometimes wider medially than laterally. Base of pronotum with two lateral longitudinal striae. Elytral punctation in single, regular rows. Distribution from northern Congo to Angola and through Tanzania to southern Mozambique, not yet recorded from Zimbabwe, Swaziland or South Africa ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... Blepharidina (Blepharidina)
     
     

    _____________________
    Version 1. 2018-03-12.
    Version 1.1. 2018-06-24.

    Posted on March 12, 2018 00:15 by beetledude beetledude | 4 comments | Leave a comment

    Index

    I'm reserving this spot. One day this will become the index. But if the project bombs, it won't. My projects tend to bomb.

    Posted on March 12, 2018 00:10 by beetledude beetledude | 0 comments | Leave a comment

    February 15, 2018

    Beetledude wants to make his resources and notes available to all

     
    I have a large and growing collection of invert ID tips, self-made identification keys and invert taxon diagnoses, and hopefully-helpful notes. On iSpot I must have added over 1,000 such contributions already. Many of these were popular on that soon-to-vanish platform. Before iSpot banished Google indexing, I was also pleased to see my taxonomic resources being used by people that had nothing to do with iSpot, but who could locate my stuff by googling.
     

    Is it feasible if I would (gradually) make a collection of my resources and notes here in my 'journal'? They would then all be in one place, instead of being scattered as comments among numerous observations ... and lost.


     
    This will not be for my benefit, but for that of the iNat community, and I do hope for that of the normal googling person also. My satisfaction lies therein that this will be part of my contribution to the common good and to increased public understanding of science.
     

      Will it work out to consolidate my notes & keys here, as 'journal entries'?

      ◘ Is it easy enough to refer from an observation to a specific journal entry with a hyperlink? This is essential.

      ◘ Are the journal entries retrospectively editable into the future? This is essential.

      ◘ It is possible for other people to comment on journal entries. To whom are those comments visible? Ideally it should be everybody.

      ◘ Is it possible to 'follow' journal entries? I haven't found a way {yet}. This is desirable.

      ◘ Is it possible to subscribe to somebody's journal to receive notifications of new entries? This would be useful.

      ◘ Are the Google bots allowed to crawl the journals on iNat? That would be ideal for my stated purpose.

     
    Another question:
    Can one ping somebody from inside a journal entry? Did the system beckon you here, to answer my questions and give me advice, @tonyrebelo and @bouteloua and @loarie and @jakob?
     
    This is my first journal post. I shall probably become able to answer some of my own questions just by posting this.
     

    Comments from anybody will be welcome!


     
     

    Posted on February 15, 2018 18:51 by beetledude beetledude | 12 comments | Leave a comment

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