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Tiny Leaf Beetle - Ophraella communa

Tiny Leaf Beetle - Ophraella communa
State line Lookout, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA
July 25, 2008
Size: less than 4 mm.
If this is Ophraella bilineata, then it's a NJ data point for genus and species. Confirmation or correction appreciated.

Moved from Ophraella.

Ophraella communa
I won't say without a doubt O. communa, because there's always a cause for doubt, but O. communa it is. O. bilineata is, according to LeSage, "a western species occurring in the Canadian Prairies . . . to Colorado." O. communa should be a ubiquitous species because LeSage lists common ragweed as a host, yet I've only found it on the native perennial ragweed Ambrosia psilostachya (in press). Long story made short - sandy habitat.

Nice live picture.

Ophraella images.
Thanks, Scott. The Lesage reference re range does exclude O. bilineata. Good enough for me. As you say, O. communa it is.
However, I note that of the three individual specimens currently identified on BugGuide as O.bilineata, two are from Maryland.

Might be
worth posting that observation to the possible misidentifications forum, if you're saying those beetles are well outside of their known range.

Thanks, Charley
Thanks,Charley, for the comments and move.
I think I will continue to rely on experts and editors for questioning BugGuide IDs made by others.

Not an expert but...
had you given any consideration to Ophraella communa?

I also cropped your image a little. It helps to have the insect as big as possible for the viewers.

Thank you, Ron, for your comment and suggestion. I did consider O. communa and think that may well be correct, but I was impressed with the match to O. bilineata here.
I don't know how to choose between them based on the info in BugGuide.
I hope some authority does determine the ID because either of them may be a first record for NJ, and that's always fun.

Plant species?
I just read that each species feeds on a different species of plant in the aster family, so if you have a photo that shows more of the plant, that might suggest a species ID.

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