Scope

Diabrotica Chevrolat, 1836 with over 400 described species is one of the most speciose leaf beetle genera in the New World (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae). Many Diabrotica species feed on flowers, leaves and roots of a wide variety of herbaceous plants, including agricultural crops, vegetables, fruits and ornamentals and are vectors of viral and other lethal plant diseases. For example, a single species, D. virgifera LeConte, costs approximately one billion dollars to the US economy annually (Burchett 2001). Many Diabrotica species are commonly intercepted at the US ports of entry. In addition, some Diabrotica species have a tendency to rapidly expand their range. For example, D. virgifera invaded Europe and became a serious pest of corn there (Camprag 1995). This makes Diabrotica one of the most economically important genera of leaf beetles.

"Diabrotica ID" is designed to allow identification of Diabrotica species that originate from North and Central America to users lacking an expertise in taxonomy of Diabrotica. The tool treats and provides identification support for all North and Central American species of the genus recognized after our study (see Tool background for more information). This includes newly proposed synonyms (Derunkov & Konstantinov in press) and species that are not yet described (Derunkov and Konstantinov in preparation). After all these changes we recognized 112 valid Diabrotica species and subspecies in North and Central America. Each species is fully illustrated, treated with a fact sheet, and included in the key.