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Genus Mordellistena

Pointy Butt - Mordellistena liturata Tumbling Flower Beetle - Mordellistena Mordellistena andreae aspersa group - Mordellistena rubrifascia Nice Mordellid  - Mordellistena liturata Nice Mordellid  - Mordellistena liturata Mordellidae, lateral - Mordellistena limbalis black and red tumbling flower beetle - Mordellistena
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)
Superfamily Tenebrionoidea (Fungus, Bark, Darkling and Blister Beetles)
Family Mordellidae (Tumbling Flower Beetles)
Tribe Mordellistenini
Genus Mordellistena
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
formerly treated in a much broader sense; many spp. have been moved to other genera, incl. Falsormordellistena, Mordellina, Mordellochroa, Pseudotolida(1)(2)
Numbers
131 spp. in our area(3)
Size
2-4 mm, rarely up to 5 mm
Identification
Small, slender, linear or wedge-shaped. Scutellum somewhat trianglular, rounded. Antennae usually threadlike, sometimes slightly sawtoothed. Eyes coarsely granulate. Each hind tibia has 1-6 short, more or less oblique ridges on outer surface; tarsal segments may also bear ridges. Most are solid black, but some have red, orange or yellow markings (4) (5).
Larva: Mordellistena is the only genus in this family which larvae have characteristic tergal processes and paired urogomphi (comment by Artjom Zaitsev).
Range
throughout NA; many spp. widely distributed(3)
Food
See Ford & Jackman (1996)
Life Cycle
Mordellistena convicta is a parasitoid of the Goldenrod Gall Fly, Eurosta solidaginis: eggs are laid on the outside of the gall, and the larval beetle tunnels in to attack the fly larva(6)
Print References
(4)(6)
Ford, E.J. and J.A. Jackman (1996) New larval host plant associations of tumbling flower beetles (Coleoptera: Mordellidae) in North America. Coleopterists Bulletin 50: 361-368.
Works Cited
1.Nomenclatural changes for selected Mordellidae (Coleoptera) in North America
J.A. Jackman & W. Lu. 2001. Insecta Mundi 15(1): 31-34.
2.Taxonomic changes for fifteen species of North American Mordellidae (Coleoptera)
A.E. Lisberg. 2003. Insecta Mundi 17(3-4): 191-194.
3.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.
4.A Manual of Common Beetles of Eastern North America
Dillon, Elizabeth S., and Dillon, Lawrence. 1961. Row, Peterson, and Company.
5.Peterson Field Guides: Beetles
Richard E. White. 1983. Houghton Mifflin Company.
6.The Book of Field and Roadside: Open-Country Weeds, Trees, and Wildflowers of Eastern North America
John Eastman, Amelia Hansen. 2003. Stackpole Books.