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Genus Chaetocnema

tiny jumper - Chaetocnema confinis  Flea Beetle  - Chaetocnema Flea Beetle (Chaetocnema sp.) - Chaetocnema Flea Beetle - Chaetocnema Unknown Flea beetle? - Chaetocnema Derocrepis flea beetle? - Chaetocnema Chaetocnema beetle - Chaetocnema
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)
Genus Chaetocnema
Explanation of Names
Chaetocnema Stephens 1831
~60 spp. in our area, ~450 worldwide(1)
1.1-3.25 mm
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)
open habitats
hosts include plants of many families; in our area, Poaceae, Cyperaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Convolvulaceae, Combretaceae, Polygonaceae, and Malvaceae
Life Cycle
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)
Print References
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.
Works Cited
1.A revision of the genus Chaetocnema of America north of Mexico (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)
White R.E. 1996. Contr. Am. Ent. Inst. 29: 1-158.
2.Chaetocnema flea beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae, Alticini) of the Maritime Provinces of Canada
Majka C.G., LeSage L. 2010. Journal of the Acadian Entomological Society 6: 34-38.
3.Garden Insects of North America : The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs (Princeton Field Guides)
Whitney Cranshaw. 2004. Princeton University Press.