Saturday, 8 March 2014

More Chrysomelid keys (leaf beetles)

Rather than put out the water trap for the last few days I've been concentrating on getting some more of the beetle keys into a publishable state.  You will now find there are keys to genera of all the subfamilies of Chrysomelidae (leaf beetles) at  The key to subfamilies has been updated to take account of genus Phratora which would have keyed into the wrong subfamily.  I have also completed keys to the British species of subfamilies Bruchinae, Cassidinae and Donaciinae.  The keys to species of subfamilies Chrysomelinae and Galerucinae are still very much works in progress.  In the Chrysomelinae, the sticky genus is Chrysolina which is unsatisfactory in Joy's Handbook but the translation from the German key is leading to some problems in interpretation that I really need to examine museum material to unravel.  The Galerucinae is such a large subfamily that it will be some time before I complete it.  Tribe Galerucini is done and is now on the website along with the large genus Longitarsus from tribe Alticini.  You will have to wait for the rest I'm afraid.

If you use the keys please send me feedback as I'm keen to improve them so they are a useful tool for British entomologists.

Here's a picture of a female of genus Psychoda caught today.  In order to get it to species I need to examine the subgenital plate at high power so it is popped into the potassium hydroxide for 24 hours and then I'll update the ID.

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