Flea Beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae)
Flea beetles are members of the subfamily Alticinae in the leaf beetle family Chrysomelidae, one of the most destructive of insect families. The Alticinae, the largest chrysomelid subfamily, has 6,000 species worldwide, most of which are phytophagous. Flea beetles are small, leaf-feeding beetles with greatly enlarged hind femora (thighs) and a propensity to jump when disturbed, from whence their common name originated. Many species of flea beetles are economic pests of vegetable and field crops, while some have been utilized as biological control agents of noxious weeds.
Although a few are generalist feeders on a wide range of host plants, most species of flea beetles are monophagous or oligophagous, feeding on plants in only one or a few related families. Thus, flea beetles in the genus Chaetocnema feed on sweet corn and grasses, others in the genus Alticafeed on alder, dogwood, elm, grapevine, rose and willow, while another group feeds on potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and pepper....
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