Species name

Diabrotica trifurcata Jacoby 1887: 522


Type locality

Panama, V. de Chiriqui


Type depository

BMNH, lectotype, male, verified



elegantula Baly 1886b sensu Jacoby 1887: 504 (misidentification)

linensis Bechyné 1956: 260 (type locality: Panama, V. de Chiriqui; type depository: BMNH, lectotype, male, verified)



Body length 6.1-7.0 mm. Body width 3.2-3.5 mm. Head basic color black. Antennae filiform, bi- or tricolored, antennomeres 1-3 uniformly yellow or yellow with darkened upper sides, antennomeres 4 - 8 uniformly cinnamon brown, antennomeres 9 - 10 uniformly sulphur yellow, antennomere 11 dark apically. Maxillary palpi black, chestnut or amber yellow, labrum black or chestnut. Pronotum yellow, light cadmium or ochraceous-orange, subquadrate, weakly bifoveate, with wide shallow foveae, not shagreened. Scutellum amber brown. Basic color of elytra yellow or rufous, with 2-3 black bands. Bands are connected creating two ring-shape yellow maculae on each elytron, or basal band positioned on basal elytra margin and divided into three branches (two humeral and one sutural), posterior band is separate in this case and may be reduced to two transverse spots. Color of bands metallic black blue. Elytral epipleura completely yellow. Elytra not sulcate, sutural angle rounded, punctation scattered, fine. Abdomen yellow or yellow ocher. Tarsi black, chestnut or mars yellow, protibia uniformly black, chestnut or bicolored, yellow, outer edge with piceous or testaceous line or extensively darkened. Meso- and metatibia black or chestnut. Femora yellow or yellow ocher. Internal sac of aedeagus with five sclerites.


Known distribution

Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Colombia


Host plants




Diabrotica elegantula was described by Baly (1886) from Colombia. Jacoby (1887) discussed the similar specimens from Panama and assigned them to Baly's D. elegantula. He cited Baly's description and proposed the figure of D. elegantula. Jacoby indicated that this species is very variable, but did not provide a description of the species. Bechyné (1956) erroneously credited Jacoby with the description of D. elegantula. He treated the Central American specimens as Jacoby's valid species and cited Jacoby's D. elegantula as a primary homonym of the Baly's D. elegantula. Therefore he proposed a new name, D. linensis, for the Central American specimens. In fact, Bechyné proposed the features that allow distinguishing D. elegantula Baly and Central American specimens belonging to D. linensis. Smith and Lawrence (1967) designated lectotype D. linensis from Jacoby's material. We studied the internal sac of the aedeagus in the types of D. linensis and D. trifurcata and found no significant differences in the internal sac armament. The elytra color pattern in D. trifurcata is undoubtedly the reduced one of D. linensis. No other morphological and habitual differences were found in these two species. Hereby, we treat D. linensis as synonym of D. trifurcata.


Potential problems with identification

Diabrotica trifurcata Jacoby is very similar to D. elegantula Baly, D. gratiosa Baly, D. morosa Jacoby and D. panamensis Jacoby. They can be separated by the following features: the pronotum in D. trifurcata is not shagreened, the color of the bands on elytra is metallic blue, in D. elegantula the pronotum is clearly shagreened, the color of the bands on elytra is metallic green; femora in D. trifurcata are yellow, but black in D. morosa. The most reliable feature that allows for distinguishing D. trifurcata is the internal sac of the aedeagus. Sclerite 5E is a flat arcuate plate, toothed apically. This feature allows to distinguish D. trifurcata from all similar species.