Rosemary beetle Chrysolina americana: A new invasive leaf beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Chrysomelinae) in Israel
Keywords:Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, beetles, leaf beetles, invasive species, host plants, citizen science, new records, Israel, Middle East
This is the first record of Chrysolina americana from Israel and from the eastern Mediterranean south of Antalya, Turkey (37°N). C. americana (Figs 1, 3, 4) generally resembles the Chrysolina coerulans angelica (Reiche & Saulcy, 1858) (Fig. 2), widely distributed in Israel and feeding and breeding on wild mint (Mentha longifolia (L.) Huds.). C. americana is similar to C. c. angelica particularly in its size, body form and rainbow-like bright glowing coloration of the head, pronotum and elytra, with green, purple and blue longitudinal stripes. However, these species can be easily distinguished by the following characters: elytral punctation is arranged in double rows of punctae in C. americana, while not arranged in any order in C. c. angelica; punctae on the pronotum are concentrated on the sides, leaving the medial area of the pronotum completely smooth in C. americana, while they are spread evenly in C. c. angelica; the longitudinal stripes display two colours—bluish green and purple—in C. americana, and three colours—green, red and blue (mainly medio-laterally)—in C. c. angelica. The two facts—that C. americana was not found in Israel before 2014 and all findings to date have been in Haifa or in close proximity to Haifa—lead to the conclusion that C. americana is not a previously overlooked local species, but, rather, an invasive species, which has passively arrived in Israel in recent years, possibly through the Haifa Port, Israel’s main maritime gateway in the eastern Mediterranean.
Cite as: Friedman, A.L.L. 2016. Rosemary beetle Chrysolina americana: A new invasive leaf beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Chrysomelinae) in Israel. Israel Journal of Entomology 46: 87–91.
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