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Morphological methods

Leptinotarsa declineata (Say) Leptinotarsa declineata (Say)
Figure 8 & 9. Head and Pronotum with black maculations
Figure 10. Leptinotarsa declineata (Say). Each elytron with 5 vittae (stripes) extending from base of elytra to apex Figure 11. Leptinotarsa declineata (Say). Each elytron with 5 vittae (stripes) extending from base of elytra to apex
Figure 10 & 11. Each elytron with 5 vittae (stripes) extending from base of elytra to the apex
Figure 12. Leptinotarsa declineata (Say). Elytral punctation slightly irregular outlining vittae Figure 13. Leptinotarsa declineata (Say). Abdomen and legs pale yellow to flavous, joints and tarsal segments brown to black
Figure 12. Elytral punctation slightly irregular outlining
vittae
Figure 13. Abdomen and legs pale yellow to flavous,
joints and tarsal segments brown to black
Figure 14. Leptinotarsa declineata (Say) Sternites I-V with black spot at lateral margin, I-IV with black, oblong spots on either side of midline, sometimes with small, additional black spots in between lateral and median spots.

Figure 14. Sternites I-V with black spot at lateral
margin, I-IV with black, oblong spots on either
side of midline, sometimes with small, additional
black spots in between lateral and median spots.

Adult identification:

Identification of subfamily Chrysomelinae

  • Round, or oval convex; usually brightly coloured
  • Head inserted into the prothorax to the eyes
  • Eyes feebly emarginate
  • Antennae moderately long, apical segments somewhat enlarged
  • Antennal insertions widely separated
  • Prothorax usually broad and convex, lateral margins well defined, frequently emarginate in front
  • Procoxae transverse, widely separated
  • Third tarsal segment entire, not bilobed.
  • Elytra convex, covering abdomen, epipleura well defined.

Identification of Doryphorini

  • Round, or oval convex; usually brightly coloured
  • Procoxal cavities open behind
  • Claws simple, separate at base, usually divergent
  • Apical segment of palpi maxillary various

 

Identification of Leptinotarsa genus

  • Claws divergent, or at ;least separated at base
  • Apical segment of maxillary palp truncate
  • Fore femora of both sexes normal
  • Mesosternum not raised above level of the prosternum

Identification of Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say)

  • Head and pronotum with black maculations
  • Each elytron with 5 vittae (stripes) extending from base of elytra to the apex
  • Elytral punctation slightly irregular outlining vittae
  • Abdomen and legs pale yellow to flavous, joints and tarsal segments brown to black

Sternites I-V with black spot at lateral margin, I-IV with black, oblong spots on either side of midline.

 

Likelihood of misidentification

Colour pattern variations within Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) have often been observed. The most common variations occur in the vittae. There may be a short interruption of one or more of the vittae, or in some cases vittae are connected at one or more places by lines of the same thickness and same colour as the vittae. One very rare melanistic variant is known where the beetle's colour is uniformly very dark brown - black (Kaszab, 1963). However, such extreme variation needs to be confirmed by detailed comparison with the few known specimens.

There are no native or introduced Chrysomelid beetles belonging to the genus Leptinotarsa in Australia. The truncate maxillary palps, elytral vittae and the maculate pronotum are so typical that misidentification is very unlikely. However there are three other Leptinotarsa species that show similarities to CPB. Their possible occurrence in quarantine samples and/or material of overseas origin may result in misidentification of these beetles.

In case of quarantine intercepts and/ or commodities of overseas origin the following references should be of assistance in identification: Both et al. (1990); Jacques, (1988); Riley et. al., (2002); Warchałowski, (2003); Matthews & Reid, (2002).

The following five Leptinotarsa species may be mis-identified as L. decemlineata (Say):


Leptinotarsa defecta
(Stål)

Figure 15. Leptinotarsa defecta (Stal). Only two shortened vittae present on each elytron. Figure 16. Leptinotarsa defecta (Stal) Coarse elytral punctures in very regular rows.
Figure 15. Only two shortened vittae present on
each elytron
Figure  16. Coarse elytral punctures in very regular
rows
Figure 17. Leptinotarsa defecta (Stal) Legs: Dark spots are present on femora
Figure 17. Legs: Dark spots are present on femora

Synonyms
Myocorina defacta Stål, 1859
Chrysomela defect (Stål), 1859

External differences:
Only 2 shortened vittae present on each elytron
Coarse elytral punctures in very regular rows
Legs: dark spots are present, especially on femora

Distribution
United States: Southern Texas. Northern Mexico

Hosts
Solanum eleagnifolium L. - horse nettle; Solanum tridynamum.

Recently this species has been introduced to South Africa together with Leptinotarsa texana Schaeffer as biological control agents for the control of their main host, Solanum eleagnifolium Cavanilles - the silverleaf nightshade (Olckers & Zimmermann 1991), (Olckers et. al. 1999), (Klein, 2002). Since L. defecta proved to be a successful biocontrol agent, it could occur in commodities from South Africa. If either L. texana or L. defecta were to be introduced into Australia, establishment could occur because silverleaf nightshade is a common weed species here.

 

Leptinotarsa juncta (Germar)

Synonyms
Chrysomela juncta Germar, 1824
Polygramma juncta Dejean, 1836
Doryphora juncta Rogers, 1854
Chrysomela juncta Stål, 1863
Myocoryna juncta Crotch, 1873
Leptinotarsa juncta Linell, 1896

External differences:
Vitta 2 does not reach apex of elytra
Vittae 3 and 4 connect at apex of elytron, space between them black
Black spot on outer margin of femur
Abdomen: sterna I-V with 6 black discoidal spots and sterna VI with 2 black spots
Coarse elytral punctures in very regular rows outlining vittae

Distribution
United States: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, Virginia.

Hosts
Solanum carolinense L. - horse nettle.

It's accepted common name - false potato beetle - is very misleading. It tends to suggest that it may occur on cultivated potato though it has never been collected on Solanum tuberosum plants.

Leptinotarsa texana Schaeffer

Figure 18. Leptinotarsa texana Schaeffer. Each elytron with 4 vittae Figure 19. Leptinotarsa texana Schaeffer. Vitta 1 is shorter than the others.
Figure 18. Each elytron with 4 vittae Figure 19. Vitta 1 is shorter than the others
Figure 20. Leptinotarsa texana Schaeffer. Coarse elytral punctures in very regular rows outlining vittae; rows 2 and 9 bordering vittae; row 10 does not border lateral margin Figure 21. Leptinotarsa texana Schaeffer. Figure 21. Legs flavous, without dark spots on femora, or darkened joints and tarsi
Figure 20. Coarse elytral punctures in very regular
rows outlining vittae; rows 2 and 9 bordering
vittae; row 10 does not border lateral margin
Figure 21. Legs flavous, without dark spots on
femora, or darkened joints and tarsi

Synonyms
Leptinotarsa undecemlineata texana Schaeffer, 1906
Leptinotarsa texana Brown, 1961

External differences
Each elytron with 4 vittae
Vitta 1 is shorter then the others
Coarse elytral punctures in very regular rows outlining vittae; rows 2 to 9 bordering vittae; row 10 does not border a vitta near lateral margin
Legs flavous, without dark spots on femora, or darkened joints and tarsi

Distribution
Natural distribution in Southern Texas to Mexico.

Hosts
Primary host: Solanum eleagnifolium Cavanilles
Secondary hosts: Solanum dulcamara, S. carolinense, S. rostratum, and S. melongena.

Recently this species has been introduced to South Africa together with Leptinotarsa defecta (Stål) as biological control agents for the control of their main host, Solanum eleagnifolium Cavanilles - the silverleaf nightshade (Olckers & Zimmermann 1991), (Olckers et. al. 1999), (Klein, 2002). Since L. texana proved to be a successful biocontrol agent, it could occur in commodities from South Africa. If either L. texana or L. defecta were to be introduced into Australia, establishment could occur because silverleaf nightshade is a common weed species here.

 

Leptinotarsa tumamoca Schaeffer

Synonyms
No synonym known.

External differences
Head immaculate, reddish-brown
Abdomen unicolorous, reddish-yellow
Legs unicolorous, reddish-yellow

Distribution
Origin Arizona, distribution: USA: California, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Texas. In Mexico: Baja California, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Sonora

Hosts
Only known host: Physalis acutifolia Gray, common name: sharpleaf groundcherry, an invasive weed of arid lands.

Should the sharpleaf groundcherry establish, L. tumamoca will be the most promising biological control agent.

 

Leptinotarsa undecemlineata (Stål)

Synonyms
Polygramma undecimlineata Chevrolat, 1836
Myocorina undecemlineata Stål, 1859
Myocorina signaticollis Stål, 1859
Chrysomela signaticollis (Stål, 1863)
Leptinotarsa signaticollis Jacoby 1883
Chrysomela undecemlineata (Stål, 1863)
Leptinotarsa undecemlineata Jacoby 1883
Leptinotarsa angustovittata Jacoby 1891
Leptinotarsa diversa Tower, 1906

External differences:
Vitta 1 shorter than other 4 and adjacent to the sutural margin
Vitta 2 joins the sutural margin ¾ the way down the elytron
Legs unicolorous, black
Abdomen unicolorous, black

Distribution
From Mexico and Cuba through Costa Rica to Colombia. So far no reliable record from USA.

Hosts
Solanum mitlese, S. lanceolatum Cav., S. ochraceoferrugineum ((Dunal).

This species is rarely found even within its natural distribution area. In case of accidental or deliberate introduction the species wouldn't be able to become naturalised in Australia due to lack of host plants.

Methodologies

Traditional taxonomic methods based on keys and descriptions are adequate for identification of Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) adults and larvae. The descriptions and images (see Appendix) in this pest data sheet are sufficient for identification of the pest. Additional information with diagnostic images is available on the Pest and Disease Image Library (PaDIL) web site: http://www.padil.gov.au


Present capabilities in Australia

Entomologists with sufficient taxonomic and diagnostic skills exist in Museums, Departments of Agriculture or Primary Industries, Universities or CSIRO, to competently identify CPB. As outlined in the previous section, the information in this datasheet and the PaDIL website should be sufficient to to accurately identify Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say).

However, it should be noted that only one specialist taxonomist is currently working on Chrysomelid beetles in Australia. While there are few species that might be confused with CPB, the lack of expertise in Australia on the Family Chrysomelidae is of some concern, given the importance of the group as a whole.

If required, suitably preserved samples requiring identification or confirmation as Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) or related species covered in this factsheet, can be sent to

Diagnostics Entomologist
(Urgent: Suspect Colarado Potato Beetle)
Western Australian Department of Agriculture
3 Baron-Hay Crt
South Perth 6151 Western Australia.

NOTE: Ethanol preserved samples in vials cannot be transported by post or by air. Courier services or hand delivery may be necessary.