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Species Agasicles hygrophila - Alligatorweed Flea Beetle

Alligatorweed Flea Beetle - Agasicles hygrophila Alligatorweed Flea Beetle - Agasicles hygrophila Agasicles hygrophila Agasicles adult - Agasicles hygrophila Feeding on Alligator Weed - Agasicles hygrophila Aquatic Plant Leaf Beetle - Agasicles hygrophila Agasicles hygrophila Beetle ID - Agasicles hygrophila
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
No Taxon (Series Cucujiformia)
Superfamily Chrysomeloidea (Long-horned and Leaf Beetles)
Family Chrysomelidae (Leaf Beetles)
Subfamily Galerucinae (Skeletonizing Leaf Beetles and Flea Beetles)
Tribe Alticini (Flea Beetles)
No Taxon (Disonycha Genus Group)
Genus Agasicles
Species hygrophila (Alligatorweed Flea Beetle)
Explanation of Names
Agasicles hygrophila Selman & Vogt 1971
hygrophila = 'water-loving'
Size
5-7 mm[Cite:185010]
Range
established in se US (TX-FL-NC-TN) (1) (also introduced into CA but failed to establish(2))
Native to so. Brazil & n. Argentina [Cite:185010]
Habitat
Found in wet places near its host plant
Season
In se. US, two population peaks (spring and fall)[Cite:185010]
Food
Only known host: the invasive alligatorweed (Alternanthera philoxeroides, Amaranthaceae)
Life Cycle
Adults lay eggs on the underside of host leaves; larvae feed on the leaves, then pupate inside the hollow stems. Can complete cycle in less than a month.[Cite:185010]
Remarks
extremely effective as biocontrol agent in coastal se. US[Cite:185010]
first released in the US: 1964, CA & SC; later, in several other states (TN-NC-FL-TX) (Buckingham, 2002)
Internet References
Fact sheets: Center et al. (2009)[Cite:185010] | Masterson (2007)
Alligatorweed fact sheet (Buckingham 2002)
Works Cited
1.Catalog of Leaf Beetles of America North of Mexico
Ed Riley, Shawn Clark, and Terry Seeno. 2003. Coleopterists Society.
2.American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea
Arnett, R.H., Jr., M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley and J. H. Frank. (eds.). 2002. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.