Cephaloleia perplexa Baly

Naczi, R. F. C. & Staines, C. L., 2011, Noteworthy Records of Hispines from Belize (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), Insecta Mundi 2011 (190), pp. 1-6: 3

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Cephaloleia perplexa Baly


Cephaloleia perplexa Baly   [Tribe Cephaloleiini   ].

Belize. Toledo District: ca. 9 mi NNE of Medina Bank, N side of Bladen Branch, 16 o 33’35”N, 88 o 43’50”W, 6 Jan 2006, R. Naczi and T. Pop; in rolled leaves of Heliconia bourgaeana   ( Heliconiaceae   ); (4 specimens, USNM). Same locality data except Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education property, 16 o 33’21”N, 88 o 42’29”W, 4 Jan 2007, Keyona Gonzalez and Patricia Jackson; in rolled leaves of Heliconia latispatha   ( Heliconiaceae   ); (1 specimen, USNM). New Host Records.

Cephaloleia perplexa   is known from Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Costa Rica ( Staines 1996). Before this collection, only five specimens had been known. Five rolled, expanding leaves of Heliconia bourgaeana   yielded 21 specimens of C. perplexa   . These beetles were infrequent inside the leaves (usually 1–3 beetles per leaf, but sometimes as many as 5 per leaf). Individuals of C. perplexa   co-occurred with the much more common C. consanguinea   in the rolled leaves.

In addition, sampling of several rolled leaves of Heliconia latispatha   yielded one individual of C. perplexa   . Naczi had sampled the same population of H. latispatha   the previous year, but without finding C. perplexa   . Evidently, C. perplexa   is quite rare in H. latispatha   , at least at this locality. In H. latispatha   , the lone C. perplexa   occurred with several adults of C. consanguinea   .

Because no host had been known for C. perplexa ( Staines 1996)   , H. bourgaeana   and H. latispatha   are new host records for the beetle species. Two other species of Heliconia   ( H. collinsiana   and H. wagneriana   ) occur in the vicinity of H. bourgaeana   and H. latispatha   at the collection localities, and Naczi sampled each of these others. However, C. perplexa   apparently did not associate with these other Heliconia species.   In contrast to C. consanguinea   , C. perplexa   appears to be relatively host-specific.