[Taxacom] calling Brazillian beetle experta ...

Jerry Cooper cooperj at landcareresearch.co.nz
Tue Oct 30 21:09:00 CDT 2007


A colleague, Simon Fowler, would like to hear from anybody who can put a name to these Brazillian beetles.
 Images posted on Flickr at  ...


These two Lema spp were collected from Tradescantia fluminensis at various sites in SE Brazil (from Curitiba south to Rio Grande do Sol). We are very interested in them as potential biocontrol agents for T. fluminensis, a major invasive exotic weed in New Zealand. We are having difficulties getting species names for them. As they are both widespread species we suspect that they have been collected and named before, e.g. by Lacordaire in 1840's or Monros in middle of 20th century. We have other photos of the adults and also photos of the male genitalia. Lema sp "stripy" has larvae that bore into the growing tips of the plant. Lema sp "knobbly" has larvae that bore into older stems of the plant. Preliminary tests suggest that both species are host specific to T. fluminensis and perhaps closely related Tradescantia spp. 

Jerry Cooper 

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