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26 June 2007 Fecal Ecology in Leaf Beetles: Novel Records in the African Arrow-Poison Beetles, Diamphidia Gerstaecker and Polyclada Chevrolat (Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae)
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Abstract

Immature stages in five chrysomelid clades, Cassidinae, Criocerinae, Cryptocephalinae, Lamprosomatinae and Galerucinae, use their feces as a significant part of their defense. In Galerucinae, only two genera, Blepharida Chevrolat and Polyclada Chevrolat have been known to carry larval fecal coats. We report for the first time that immature stages of two species in the African arrow-poison genus Diamphidia Gerstaecker, as well as an additional species of Polyclada Chevrolat cover themselves with their feces. In Diamphidia femoralis Gerstaecker, Diamphidia nigroornata Stål and an undetermined species of Polyclada, females oviposit masses on stems of Commiphora (Burseraceae) and Sclerocarya birrea (A. Richt.) Hochst. (Anacardiaceae), and they coat their eggs with sticky olive-green feces that harden into a dark-brown covering. All larval instars retain their feces, as semi-solid pellets or a wet mass that partially or completely covers the dorsum, or as long anal strands. The final instar loses its fecal coat prior to descending the host stem or dropping to the ground to enter the soil for pupation. These behaviors further support a close evolutionary relationship between Blepharida, Diamphidia and Polyclada, and suggest similar morphological features for maintaining fecal coats.

Caroline S. Chaboo, Elizabeth Grobbelaar, and Arne Larsen "Fecal Ecology in Leaf Beetles: Novel Records in the African Arrow-Poison Beetles, Diamphidia Gerstaecker and Polyclada Chevrolat (Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae)," The Coleopterists Bulletin 61(2), (26 June 2007). https://doi.org/10.1649/0010-065X(2007)61[297:FEILBN]2.0.CO;2
Received: 30 August 2006; Accepted: 1 January 2007; Published: 26 June 2007
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