Explanation of Names
Chaetocnema Stephens 1831
~60 spp. in our area, ~450 worldwide(1)
Pronotum with no special features, elytra with aligned, or (more rarely) confused punctures. Middle and hind tibiae with a blunt projection or tooth in the apical half, followed by an emargination. Among NA flea beetles, only Blepharida
has similar tibiae (otherwise looks different).
Species ID often requires studying male genitalia and is usually impossible from photographs.
Key to 5 spp. found in se. Canada in(2)
hosts include plants of many families; in our area, Poaceae, Cyperaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Convolvulaceae, Combretaceae, Polygonaceae, and Malvaceae
Chaetocnema larvae are known to be subterranean, feeding on the underground portions of their host plants (Jolivet & Hawkeswood 1995)
commercial pests: C. confinis
(Sweetpotato Flea Beetle), C. denticulata
(Toothed Flea Beetle), C. ectypa
(Desert Corn Flea Beetle), C. pulicaria
(Corn Flea Beetle)(2)
, C. repens
(Dichondra Flea Beetle)(3)
Jolivet, P. & T.J. Hawkeswood. 1995. Host-plants of Chrysomelidae of the World: An essay about the relationships between the leaf-beetles and their food-plants. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands. xiv + 281 pp.