Subfamily Galerucinae Latreille, 1802
Subfamily Galerucinae Latreille, 1802
- Galerucinae Latreille, P.A. 1802. Histoire Naturelle, Générale et Particulière des Crustacés et des Insectes. Paris : F. Dufart Vol. 3 xii 13+467 pp. .
- Alticinae Spinola, M. 1844. Essai Monographique sur les Clérites, Insectes Coléoptères. Gènes : Ponthenier Vol. 1 pp. 1-386. .
The subfamily Galerucinae is the largest in the Chrysomelidae, with 1000 genera (Seeno & Wilcox 1982) and more than 12,000 described species worldwide (last catalogued at least 35 years ago: Heikertinger & Csiki 1940; Wilcox 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975). The Australian fauna is proportionately small, with about 70 genera and 530 species, but is likely to include numerous undescribed species, as evidenced by the large proportion of new species in revisions of Microdonacia (Reid 1992), Pedethma (Lingafelter & Konstantinov 2000) and Pepila (Biondi & D'Alessandro 2004). There are also 8 introduced genera and 11 introduced species in Australia (Julien & Griffiths 1998). Galerucinae are found throughout Australia, in all habitats.
This group has a convoluted history, having long been considered two subfamilies. Recent research supports treating the subfamily as a single unit, with much of historic Galerucinae as an almost monophyletic clade embedded in the grade-like historic Alticinae (known as flea-beetles for their ability to jump) (Reid 1992, 1995; Lingafelter & Konstantinov 1999; Duckett, Gillespie & Kjer 2004; Ge et al. 2010). This modern concept of Galerucinae is monophyletic. Galerucinae is probably sister to Chrysomelinae (Reid 1995, 2000; Duckett et al. 2004; Gomez-Zurita et al. 2008). The Australian fauna includes several interesting genera from a systematics point of view, because they show mixed galerucine and alticine facies: Cassena, Licyllus, Micrantipha and Microdonacia.
Galerucinae feed on a wide range of plants, including pteridophytes and bryophytes, but mostly on eudicot angiosperms. Typically adults eat a small hole in a leaf then move on, producing a characteristic 'shotgun' damage effect. A number of species have been shown to sequester plant toxins, others synthesise toxins; these are released from dorsal glands (Pasteels & Rowell-Rahier 1989). Consequently, many species are aposematic and, being toxic, are slow fliers. Eggs are laid on foliage, stems or soil. Larvae are usually stem or leaf-miners or soil-inhabiting root feeders, however a few genera have externally feeding larvae.
The Australian fauna is poorly known but there appear to be about equal numbers of species of hopping (alticine) and non-hopping (galerucine) forms. There are modern keys to the genera of Galerucini (Reid 2003) and the fauna of South Australia (Matthews & Reid 2002), and to the species of a few genera. Keys are lacking to the species of the larger genera, such as Monolepta (>150 species), Arsipoda (58 species) and Pepila (47 species). Australian galerucines feed on a wide variety of plants, but predominantly from the largest dicotyledonous families: Fabaceae and Myrtaceae. Several species appear to be polyphagous, or at least they visit flowers of unrelated plants for pollen or nectar. The basic biology of several minor pest species has been described, for example the fig beetle (Poneridia australis; Froggatt 1923), the red-shouldered leaf-beetle (Monolepta australis; Houston 1982) and the red-headed flea-beetle (Nisotra species; Jarvis 1919). At least one native species is a vector of plant viruses (Matthews & Reid 2002). Larvae of Poneridia, Menippus, Atysa and Altica are external feeders (Matthews & Reid 2002; Reid & Nally 2008; Reid & Beatson 2010).
Several exotic species are present in Australia. Phyllotreta undulata and Xanthogaleruca luteola are accidentally introduced pests (Matthews & Reid 2002). Species of Agasicles, Alagoasa, Homichloda, Longitarsus, Malacorhinus and Trirhabda have been introduced as biocontrol agents of weeds (Julien & Griffiths 1998).
Taxonomic Decision for Synonymy
- 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. 
After Reid (2000). Adult: antennae not inserted at anterior margin of head; antennal sockets less than 3 diameters apart; mandible with large internal prostheca; bifid tarsal setae absent; tegmen without dorsal cap; female sternite 8 with apodeme and rectum without kotpresse.
Larva: 0-1 pair of stemmata; mandibles palmate; dorsal ambulatory ampullae absent; abdominal eggbursters absent; tibiotarsus usually with paronychial appendix; pretarsus much shorter than tibiotarsus.
Biondi, M. & D'Alessandro, P. 2004. The genus Pepila Weise (Alticinae) in the region of Australia: distribution, ecology and biogeography. pp. 529-539 in Jolivet, P.H.A., Santiago-Blay, J.A. & Schmitt, M. (eds). New Developments in the Biology of Chrysomelidae. The Hague : SPB Academic Publishing.
Duckett, C.N., Gillespie, J.J. & Kjer, K.M. 2004. Relationships among the subfamilies of Chrysomelidae inferred from small subunit ribosomal DNA and morphology, with special emphasis on the relationship among the flea beetles and the Galerucinae. pp. 3-18 in Jolivet, P.H.A., Santiago-Blay, J.A. & Schmitt, M. (eds). New Developments in the Biology of Chrysomelidae. The Hague : SPB Academic Publishing.
Froggatt, W.W. 1923. Forest Insects of Australia. Sydney : Alfred James Kent, Government Printer viii 171 pp. 2 colour pls.
Ge, D., Chesters, D., Gomez-Zurita, J., Zhang, L., Yang, X. & Vogler, A.P. 2010. Anti-predator defence drives parallel morphological evolution in flea beetles. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 278(1715): 2133-2141
Gomez-Zurita, J., Hunt, T. & Vogler, A. P. 2008. Multilocus ribosomal RNA phylogeny of the leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae). Cladistics 23: 1-17
Heikertinger, F. & Csiki, E. 1940. Chrysomelidae: Halticinae II. Coleopterorum catalogus. pars 169, S. Schenkling ed. Junk. Gravenhage. 337-635 pp.
Houston, K.J. 1982. Immature stages of Monolepta australis (Jacoby) and Candezea palmerstoni Blackburn (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Journal of the Australian Entomological Society 21: 123-130
Jarvis, E. 1919. Insect pests of the rosella. The rosella flea-beetle. Queensland Agricultural Journal 9: 69-74
Julien, M.H. & Griffiths, M.W. (eds) 1998. Biological Control of Weeds: A world catalogue of agents and their target weeds. Wallingford : CAB International 223 pp.
Jurado-Rivera, J., Vogler, A.P., Reid, C.A.M., Petitpierre, E. & Gómez-Zurita, J. 2009. DNA barcoding insect-host plant associations. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 276: 639-648
Lingafelter, S.W. & Konstantinov, A.S. 1999. The monophyly and relative rank of alticine and galerucine leaf-beetles: a cladistic analysis using adult morphological characters (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Entomologica Scandinavica 30(4): 397-416
Lingafelter, S.W. & Konstantinov, A.S. 2000. Revision of Pedethma Weise (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Coleopterists' Bulletin 54(4): 413-458
Matthews, E.G. & Reid, C.A.M. 2002. A Guide to the Genera of Beetles of South Australia. Part 8 Polyphaga: Chrysomeloidea: Chrysomelidae. Adelaide : South Australian Museum pp. 1-64.
Pasteels, J.M. & Rowell-Rahier, M. 1989. Defensive glands and secretions as taxonomic tools in the Chrysomelidae. Entomography 6: 423-432
Reid, C.A.M. 1992. The leaf-beetle genus Microdonacia Blackburn (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae): revision and systematic placement. Systematic Entomology 17: 359-387
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.
Reid, C.A.M. 2000. Spilopyrinae Chapuis: a new subfamily in the Chrysomelidae and its systematic placement (Coleoptera). Invertebrate Taxonomy 14: 837-862
Reid, C.A.M. 2003. Recognition of the genus Hoplosaenidea Laboissière in Australia, with a key to the Australian genera of Galerucini (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae). Australian Journal of Entomology 42: 40-45
Reid, C.A.M. & Beatson, M. 2010. The genus Atysa Baly in Australia (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae). Australian Entomologist 36(4): 189-200
Reid, C.A.M. & Nally, S.C. 2008. Revision of the genus Menippus Clark in Australia (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae). Australian Journal of Entomology 47: 87-101
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.
Wilcox, J.A. 1971. Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae – Oidini, Galerucini, Metacyclini, Sermylini. In, Wilcox, J.A. (ed.) Coleopterorum Catalogus Supplementa. Pars 78, fasc. 1 2nd edn Gravenhage : Junk. 1-220 pp.
Wilcox, J.A. 1972. Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae – Luperini: Aulacophorina, Diabroticina. Coleopterorum Catalogus Supplementa. Pars 78, fasc. 2. 2nd edn. 221-431 pp.
Wilcox, J.A. 1973. Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae – Luperini: Luperina. Wilcox, J.A. (ed.) Coleopterorum catalogus supplementa. Pars 78, Fasc. 3 Gravenhage : Junk. 433-664 pp.
Wilcox, J.A. 1975. Family 129. pp. 1-166 in R.H. Arnett Jr (ed.). Checklist of the beetles of North and Central America and the West Indies. North American beetle fauna series. Gainesville : Flora & fauna publications.