Species name

Diabrotica elegantula Baly 1886b: 213


Type locality

Muzo, Colombia


Type depository

BMNH, lectotype, female, verified



Body length 7.0-7.1 mm. Body width 3.5-3.6 mm. Head basic color black. Antennae filiform, bi- or tricolored, antennomeres 1-3 yellow, with upper sides darkened, antennomeres 4-8 brussels brown, antennomeres 9-10 light cadmium, antennomere 11 dark apically. Maxillary palpi and labrum black. Pronotum yellow or light cadmium, quadrate, weakly bifoveate, with wide shallow foveae, not shagreened. Scutellum black. Elytra yellow or rufous, with three sharp-edged metallic black green bands connected together and forming two round maculae in basal area of elytra and two transverse maculae in the middle. Elytral epipleura completely yellow. Sutural angle of elytra round, punctation scattered, fine. Abdomen yellow. Tarsi and tibiae black or piceous. Femora yellow.


Known distribution



Host plants




Smith and Lawrence (1967) designated lectotype of D. elegantula Baly and noted "a second example from Magdalena River is considered to be a paralectotype". We have studied the type and the specimens identified as 'elegantula' in BMNH collection and were unable to recognize this paralectotype. There are no any specimens in Jacoby's collections in BMNH and in MCZ similar to the type. There is a discrepancy between the type and Baly's description. Baly wrote "…disk [of pronotum] smooth and shining…", while in the type pronotal disk is opaque and shagreened by long, narrow microsculpture meshes. Diabrotica elegantula Baly was treated for a long time as Central American species, therefore we included it in the key. It is possible that the range of D. elegantula is restricted only to the South America.


Potential problems with identification

Diabrotica elegantula Baly is very similar to D. e2n and D. trifurcata Jacoby. They can be separated by the following features: pronotum is clearly shagreened in D. elegantula, while smooth and shining in D. e2n and D. trifurcata; pronotum in D. e2n is more transverse than in D. elegantula; the body of D. e2n is more convex and shorter than in D. elegantula; the medium maculae are almost round in D. e2n, but transverse in D. elegantula; the color of the bands is usually metallic black blue in D. e2n, but black metallic green in D. elegantula.