Predation of the Rolled-Leaf Beetle Cephaloleia kressi García-Robledo (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae) by the Rove Beetle Phanolinus Sp. (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Xanthopygina) in a Montane Forest of Costa Rica
Chaves Fallas, José Miguel
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The genus Cephaloleia Chevrolat includes 215 species, known as rolled-leaf beetles, all of which are restricted to the Neotropics (Garcı́a-Robledo et al. 2015; Staines and Garcı́a-Robledo 2014). These beetles complete their entire life cycle in, and feed on the young, rolled leaves of plant species in the monocot clade, predominantly in the order Zingiberales (banana and ginger relatives) (McKenna and Farrell 2005; Staines and Garcı́aRobledo 2014; Strong 1977). This ecological interaction of Zingiberales and rolled-leaf beetles dates to ca. 40–60 Ma (Garcı́a-Robledo and Staines 2008; Wilf et al. 2000). The diet patterns of rolled-leaf beetles have been well described at the La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica, where 75% of the species are specialists at the family level, suggesting the similarities in plant defensive chemistry within families influences host plant use in this interaction (Garcı́a-Robledo et al. 2017). However, the role of top-down ecological forces such as parasitism and predation in determining host plant range remain much less understood in this system. In fact, next to no examples of predation and parasitism have been reported. The following are the only previously reported examples known to the author: (1) Casual egg predation by coinhabiting larvae and adults of the same species (cannibalism) (Strong 1977); (2) eggs parasitized by eulophid and trichogrammatid Hymenoptera (Morrison and Strong 1981; Strong 1977) and larvae by tachinid flies (Seifert 1982); (3) larvae eaten by the beetle Askalaphium depressum (Bates) (Carabidae) (Erwin and Medina 2003); (4) adults of Cephaloleia belti Baly predated by a wandering spider (Ctenidae) (Baer, in litt.; personal observation); (5) suspicious but not confirmed predation of larvae by the beetle Calophaena ligata Bates (Carabidae) (Schmitt and Frank 2013)—this enigmatic interaction requires further study because adults of C. ligata have been observed eating phoretic mites of Cephaloleia beetles (Garcı́aRobledo, in litt.); (6) other potential predators of Cephaloleia adults are birds, lizards, frogs, mantids and tettigoniid grasshoppers (Seifert 1982; Staines 1999). Here I report predation of an adult Cephaloleia kressi Garcı́a-Robledo by the rove beetle Phanolinus sp. (Staphylinidae: Staphylininae: Xanthopygina) (Fig. 1). Cephaloleia kressi is endemic to Costa Rica and has only been recorded feeding on the rolled leaves of Heliconia lankesteri Standl. (Heliconiaceae) (Staines andGarcı́a-Robledo 2014), which occurs in the old-growth montane forests of Costa Rica and Panama, from 1,300–2,400 m in elevation (Kress 2003) (Fig. 1B). Cephaloleia kressi has a black head, yellow pronotum, black scutellum and black elytra with two longitudinal yellow stripes (Fig. 1A). During October 2018, several rolled leaves of H. lankesteri were opened at “Sitio 2000” in Braulio Carrillo National Park (10°100340 0N, 84°604200W, 2,000 m) in search of individuals of C. kressi. Surprisingly, in one of the opened leaves, a blue metallic colored rove beetle (Staphylinidae) (later identified as Phanolinus sp.) was observed eating an adult of C. kressi (Figs. 1C, 2). The genus Phanolinus Sharp includes 34 species and is restricted to the Neotropics (Herman 2001). This genus has not been revised; therefore, identification to species level is not possible at this time (S. Chatzimanolis, in litt.).
External link to the item10.1649/0010-065X-74.4.714
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