|Dorsal view of the Aphthona specimen, length 2mm excluding appendages. This is how it arrived in the post - very neatly (unlike my own card-mounting), glued onto a small card in a protective tube - thanks to Jon Cole for the good quality specimen!|
|A close-up of the front half in dorsal view.|
|Ventral view of the aedeagus.|
|Dorsal view of the aedeagus.|
|Side view of the aedeagus.|
So, we have a common species, but one that provides an opportunity to work through the taxonomy of Aphthona. Though often associated with cultivated flax/linseed (Linum usitatissimum) which they may kill by feeding on seedlings and cotyledons (Cox, 2007), it is actually found on many plant species in a wide range of habitats - as in this case where the beetle was collected (by beating in late October) from a Field Maple (Acer campestre) by a lake. Now, a box of about 20 little packets of beetles has arrived so I suspect this series will be updated soon...
Cox, M.L. (2000). Progress report on the Bruchidae/Chrysomelidae Recording Scheme. The Coleopterist 9: 65-74.
Cox, M.L. (2007). Atlas of the Seed and Leaf Beetles of Britain and Ireland. Pisces, Newbury.
Konstantinov, A.S. (1998). Revision of the Palaearctic Species of Aphthona Chevrolat and Cladistic Classification of the Aphthonini (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae). Associated Publishers, Gainesville, FL.