Friday, August 29, 2008

Flea Beetle

Click on the images to view zoom.

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Photographer: deadmanswill

Insect Scout: deadmanswill

Location: Miryalaguda, AP, India

Species Identifier(s):

Points to appreciate:
  • Observe the hind leg closer (Click on the image to zoom). It is considerably larger than the other pairs.
  • Observe the ‘shell-like shiny helmet’ over its thorax. That’s the pair of forewings. If you look close there is a small straight line running along its center. The hind wings are folded beneath the forewings.
Notes from Wikipedia:
  • Flea beetles is a general name applied to the small, jumping beetles of the leaf beetle family (Chrysomelidae).
  • The adults are very small to moderately sized Chrysomelidae (i.e. among beetles in general they are on the smallish side). They are simiar to other leaf beetles, but characteristically have the hindleg femora greatly enlarged. These enlarged femora allow for the springing action of these insects when disturbed. (click on the image to observe the hind leg closer).
  • Adult flea beetles feed externally on plants, eating the surface of the leaves, stems and petals.
  • Flea beetles may be beneficial or may be pests, depending on the species. Many major agricultural crops are attacked by flea beetles. Other flea beetle species are beneficial, feeding on weeds and similar nuisance plants.

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