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The main trends and stages of evolution of trophic links of the leaf beetles coleoptera chrysomelidae of the ussr


, : The main trends and stages of evolution of trophic links of the leaf beetles coleoptera chrysomelidae of the ussr. Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie 64(2): 285-294

1340 species of leaf-beetles belonging to 164 genera of 16 subfamiles are known from the USSR. Food-plants are known for 955 species (72 per cent of the total fauna). Chrysomelids feed on more than 800 species of plants of 86 families; higher plants, and mostly angiosperms, are predominant. The richest faunas have the families Salicaceae, asteraceae, Betulaceae, Polygonaceae, Fabaceae, Brassicaceae, Rosaceae, Lamiaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Fagaceae, Ranunculaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Ulmaceae, Tamariaceae, Apiaceae, Poaceae, Cyperaceae and Liliaceae. Chrysomelids show distinct specilization to feeding on definite parts and organs of the plants. Trophic specilization played an important role in the evolution of the chrysomelidae. Association of some primitive recent subfamilies , like Aulacoscelinae and Sagrinae, with Cycadophyta and the supposed association of the fossil Protoscelinae with Jurassic Bennetitae and Cycadophytaare important for understanding of the evolution of chrysomelids. The next stage of their evoluton is connected to the violent progress of many groups of angiosperms at the end of the Cretaceous period. Probably in Eocene the leaf-beetles established on Salicaceae, Betulaceae, Fabaceae, Arecaceae, and in the subsequent time on many other families. The association of chrysomelids with Poaceae, Cyperaceae and Brassicaceae has probably occurred in Neogene.

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