Answer to the Monday Mystery

Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say 1924) – the Colorado Potato Beetle.

The answers to Monday’s Identify-Thomas-Say’s-Species challenge are as follows:

Five of the 12 mystery species were described by the pioneering entomologist. They were:

3. Cycloneda munda – 2 points to Isa Solange
6. Solenopsis molesta – 2 points to Chris Murrow
7. Anopheles punctipennis – 2 points to Jay Smith
8. Leptinotarsa decemlineata – 2 points to Isa Solange
10. Climaciella brunnea – 2 points to Jay Smith

These answers tie Isa Solange and Jay Smith at four points for the week.

Additionally, I am awarding two points to Viktor Nilsson-Örtman for citing each original reference for all the Say and most of the non-Say species, and one point to James Trager for identifying the Carpenter ant species.

This brings us to the end of  January. Our winner for the month, with seven points garnered across two weeks, is Brendon Boudinot. Congrats, Boud! Contact me for your loot.

2 thoughts on “Answer to the Monday Mystery”

  1. As a complete layman when it comes to anything biology related, I had fun trying to identify species in my front yard last summer, and was able to figure out that a particular weed was horse-nettle, because I found eggs on the leaves, which I took inside and hatched, revealing Leptinotarsa decemlineata, which apparently has a preference for horse-nettle. I also found some Leptinotarsa juncta larvae.

    Now, I knew that L. decemlineata was bad news for my tomato plants, but what about L. juncta? The internet failed me (no one seems to care about L. juncta :(. . . ), so I ran a very rigorous study: I put tomato leaves on one side of a bowl, and horse nettle on the other, and half a dozen L. juncta in the middle to see what they would do. Not only did they have a preference for the horse nettle, they also failed to eat any of the tomato leaves once the horse nettle was gone.

    A question: is it common for beetle larvae to eat unhatched eggs of their same species? L. decemlineata certainly does. . .

  2. Brendon, I know that you just posted a guest column back in September, but I really enjoyed the last one and selfishly would like you to redeem another one as your prize this time around 🙂

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