Subfamily Cassidinae Gyllenhal, 1813
Subfamily Cassidinae Gyllenhal, 1813
Compiler and date details
August 2013 - Chris Reid, Australian Museum, Sydney
March 2012 - Chris Reid, Australian Museum, Sydney
The subfamily Cassidinae is large, with more than 350 genera and 5500 species worldwide (Seeno & Wilcox 1982; Borowiec 1999; Staines 2002, 2006; Chaboo 2007). By comparison the Australian fauna is depauperate, with 15 native genera and 56 native species. However, the subfamily is found throughout Australia.
This group of beetles has a complex history, having long been considered two subfamilies, Cassidinae and Hispinae. However, it is now clear that the historically defined Cassidinae comprise an almost monophyletic clade embedded in the grade-like 'Hispinae' (Chaboo 2007). The oldest valid name for the whole group is Cassidinae (Chen 1940). This modern concept of Cassidinae is certainly monophyletic but the subfamily is of unknown placement among the Chrysomelidae: on morphological evidence possibly sister to Chrysomelinae and Galerucinae (Reid 1995, 2000); from molecular evidence possibly sister to Cryptocephalinae (Gomez-Zurita, Hunt & Vogler 2008). There are numerous tribes, mostly poorly defined (Chaboo 2007). The hispoid cassidines were catalogued by Uhmann (1958) and the cassidoid cassidines by Borowiec (1999).
This subfamily is probably the best known of the Australian Chrysomelidae. Keys or modern descriptions are available for almost all known species (Uhmann 1954, 1957, 1958; Gressitt 1960, 1963; Gressitt & Samuelson 1990; Samuelson 1989; Borowiec 1990, 1991, 1992, 1999, 2006; Matthews & Reid 2002; Staines 2002; Borowiec & Burwell 2011), distributions are well-known (Borowiec 2009) and the biology of several species has been described.
The Australian species are typical of the two types of Cassidinae: the hispoid group with cryptic spiny adults, feeding primarily on monocotyledonous hosts, with external or leaf-mining flattened larvae, pupating at or near the ground; the cassidoid group with often conspicuous circular adults and externally-feeding spiny larvae which pupate on the host. However, the biology of many species is unknown and the endemic genus and species Aproida balyi is a notable exception to the above generalisation, in that it is a 'hispoid' with a fairly conspicuous adult and larva, and the larva pupates on the host (Monteith 1970).
In Australia, host plants are mostly monocots for hispoids and eudicots for cassidoids (Jolivet & Hawkeswood 1995; Matthews & Reid 2002). However the hispoid Notosacantha feeds on Acacia (Monteith 1991). The hispoid Brontispa longissima is a serious pest of coconut palms throughout south-east Asia, the west Pacific and northern Queensland (Liebregts & Chapman 2004). One species of Aspidimorpha influences the structure of sand dune floral communities in North Queensland (Bach 1998).
Cassidoid cassidines include large and conspicuously coloured species, whose colours often fade after death, which are chemically protected by dorsal glands. Their larvae may use a cap of faeces or shed skins for protection. Some non-Australian species show maternal care (Chaboo 2007).
Several South American species were introduced for biocontrol of lantana and 4 are established (Day 2012). These are having no noticeable effect on this plant but are now providing hosts for a range of native parasitoids (Broughton 2001). One unnamed species of Cassida has been established for biological control of bitou bush (Adair, Morley & Morin 2012).
After Reid (2000). Adult: mouth ventral, usually posterior to eyes and interocular space; mandibular mola absent; elytron with an apical spine or broadly explanate with laterally concealed epipleura; wing with one or without anal cell; tarsi 3- or 4-segmented, with bifid setae on ventral surface of segments 1–3; first two abdominal ventrites fused; tegmen without dorsal cap.
Larva: not enclosed in transportable capsule; eggbursters absent; maxillary palpi 1- or 2-segmented; labial palpi 1-segmented; legs present or absent, if present with paronychial appendix on tibia and pretarsus much shorter than tibia; dorsal ambulatory ampullae absent; abdominal segments with lateral spines or flattened extensions.
Adair, R.J., Morley, T. & Morin, L. 2012. Chrysanthemoides monilifera (L.) T. Norl. — bitou bush and boneseed. pp. 170-183 in Julien, M.H., McFadyen, R.E.C. & Cullen, J.M. (eds). Biological control of weeds in Australia. Collingwood, Vic. : CSIRO Publishing. pp. i-xviii, 1-620.
Broughton, S. 2001. Parasitism and predation of the lantana leafmining beetles Octotoma scabripennis Guerin-Meneville and Uroplata girardi Pic (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Hispinae) in Australia. Australian Journal of Entomology 40: 286-293
Chaboo C. S. 2007. Biology and phylogeny of the Cassidinae Gyllenhal sensu lato (tortoise and leaf-mining beetles) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 305: 1-250
Day, M. 2012. Lantana camara L. — lantana. pp. 334-346 in Julien, M.H., McFadyen, R.E.C. & Cullen, J.M. (eds). Biological control of weeds in Australia. Collingwood, Vic. : CSIRO Publishing. pp. i-xviii, 1-620.
Gressitt, J.L. 1960. Papuan–West Polynesian hispine beetles (Chrysomelidae). Pacific Insects 2(1): 1–90 [15 Apr. 1960]
Gressitt, J.L. & Samuelson, G.A. 1990. Hispinae of the New Guinea-Solomons area. II. Tribe Coelaenomenoderini (Coleoptera; Chrysomelidae). Occasional Papers of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum 30: 259-278
Hsiao, T.H. & Windsor, D.M. 1999. Historical and biological relationships among Hispinae inferred from 12S MTDNA sequence data. pp. 39-50 in Cox, M.L. (ed.). Advances in Chrysomelidae Biology 1. Leiden : Backhuys.
Liebregts, W. & Chapman, K. 2004. Impact and control of the coconut hispine beetle, Brontispa longissima Gestro (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). In, Report of the Expert Consultation on Coconut Beetle Outbreak in APPPC Member Countries. RAP Publication 2004/29, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok.
Reid, C.A.M. 1995. A cladistic analysis of subfamilial relationships in the Chrysomelidae sensu lato (Chrysomeloidea). pp. 559-631 in Pakaluk, J. & Slipinski, S.A. (eds). Biology, Phylogeny and Classification of Coleoptera. Papers celebrating the 80th birthday of Roy A. Crowson. Warszawa : Muzeum i Instytut Zoologii PAN.
Samuelson, G.A. 1989. A review of the hispine tribe Aproidini (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 27(2): 599-604 [Date published 13 Nov. 1989]
Seeno, T.N. & Wilcox, J.A. 1982. Leaf beetle genera (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae). pp. 1-221 in Eichlin, T.D. & Papp, C.S. (eds). Entomography, An annual review for biosystematics. Sacramento, California : Entomography Publications Vol. 1.
Uhmann, E. von 1954. Austral-asiatische Hispinae aus dem Zoologischen Museum der Humboldt-Universität Berlin 6. Teil. Die Gattung Hispellinus Weise. Mitteilungen aus dem Zoologischen Museum in Berlin 30: 96-104
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