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Annotated Checklist of Mordellidae from Rio Bravo

Conservation and Management Area, Orange Walk District, Belize

John A. Jackman

Department of Entomology

Texas A&M University

412 Heep Center

College Station, Texas 77843-2475

Last update: 21 July 1999

The mordellid beetles include approximately 1500 species of medium-sized to small beetles (mostly from 2 to 8 mm) distributed worldwide. They are often refered to as tumbling flower beetles or, less often, spine-tailed beetles. Adults of this family are frequently collected on flowers or with sweep nets on foliage. Recent work suggests that flight intercept traps are particularly effective in collecting mordellids, especially the smaller forms. Although some species have been reared from wood, relatively little is know about the biology of immature stages. Recent rearing studies now suggest that the larvae are stem borers, particularly in pithy stems of Asteraceae, Poaceae, and other plants. A number of authors have suggested that the larvae are predators; however, there is little direct evidence of predation, although they may feed incidentally on other larvae that share their habitat. Adult mordellid beetles are strong fliers and, consequently, they are well represented on islands.

Relatively few taxonomists have worked on mordellids. Karl Ermisch and Mario Franciscolo have been the most prolific authors worldwide. They have concentrated primarily on European and African faunas. Several American and Oriental authors have contributed much to the knowledge of the family as well. Many of the genera recognized by Ermisch and Franciscolo have yet to be fully integrated into the global fauna. Moreover, there has been a proliferation of generic descriptions resulting in numerous monotypic genera whose limits are poorly understood and, consequently, there is a need for revisionary work at the generic level. Much of the world fauna remains undescribed, and the number of species will likely at least be doubled when it is fully understood.

Taxa identified in this study represent most of the records from Belize. There were five species mentioned from British Honduras (now Belize) in Biologia Centrali Americana. Of the five, only Mordella melaena may be represented as a numbered species in this study. There are probably scattered records in the literature but certainly no comprehensive information on this beetle family from Central America. Several of the records given here represent considerable range extensions for species that are otherwise hardly mentioned in the literature. Comprehensive studies of local faunas such as this will contribute greatly to understanding this family of beetles in Central America.

Unless otherwise indicated, all specimens inventoried in the table below came from moist tropical broadleaf forest in the vicinity of La Milpa field station and archeological site. The other major Rio Bravo locality represented is Hill Bank Station, but limited collecting has been done there. All determinations are by J. A. Jackman. Specimens are deposited in the author's collection and the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Louisiana State University.

Subfamily Genus Species ID No. Preserve Localities Collecting Methods Date Known Distribution Comments
Mordellinae Mordellistena MOS001 J.J. 1 WT Malaise trap IV    
Mordellinae Mordellistena MOS002 J.J. 1 AS flight intercept trap IV    
Mordellinae Mordellistena MOS003 J.J. 1 WT Malaise trap IV    
Mordellinae Mordellistena MOS004 J.J. 1 WT Malaise trap IV    
Mordellinae Mordellistena MOS005 J.J. 1 WT Malaise trap IV    
Mordellinae Mordellistena MOS006 J.J. 1 RS light trap IV    
Mordellinae Mordellistena MOS007 J.J. 1 WT flight intercept trap IV    
Mordellinae Mordellistena MOS008 J.J. 1 WT Malaise trap IV    
Mordellinae Mordellistena MOS009 J.J. 1 WT Malaise trap IV    
Mordellinae Mordellistena MOS010 J.J. 1 LM ? IV    
Mordellinae Mordellistena MOS011 J.J. 1 WT Malaise trap IV    
Mordellinae Mordellistena MOS012 J.J. 3 LM light trap IV,IX    
Mordellinae Mordellistena MOS013 J.J. 2 WT Malaise trap IV    
Mordellinae Mordellistena MOS014 J.J. 3 WT, RS Malaise trap, light trap IV    
Mordellinae Mordellistena MOS015 J.J. 8 WT, RS Malaise trap, light trap IV    
Mordellinae Mordellistena MOS016 J.J. 3 WT Malaise trap, flight intercept trap IV    
Mordellinae Mordellistena MOS017 J.J. 2 WT Malaise trap, LF IV    
Mordellinae Mordellistena MOS018 J.J. 13 WT, RS Malaise trap, light trap, yellow pan trap IV    
Mordellinae Paramordellaria nr. carinata J.J. 1 WT Malaise trap IV    
Mordellinae Mordella t-album J.J. 1 WT flight intercept trap IV    
Mordellinae Mordella MOR001 J.J. 1 ? ? 1V,IX    
Mordellinae Mordella MOR002 J.J. 1 ? ? 1V,IX    
Mordellinae Mordella MOR003 J.J. 1 ? ? 1V,IX    
Mordellinae Toxomia serval J.J. 1 AS flight intercept trap VII    
Mordellinae Toxomia TOM001 J.J. 1 ? ? VII    
Mordellinae Mordella stricticoptera Champion J.J. 38 MA, AS, FL, TC, WT, SL lindgren funnel trap, flight intercept trap,Malaise trap, yellow pan trap VII,IX    
Mordellinae nr. Calyceoidea CAL001 J.J. 1 WT Malaise trap VII    
Mordellinae Mordella biformis Champion J.J. 1 WT yellow pan trap VII    
Mordellinae Boatia albertae Franciscolo J.J. 2 FL, SL flight intercept trap VII    
Mordellinae nr. Mordellaria MOL001 J.J. 2 RS, WT Malaise trap, yellow pan trap VII    
Mordellinae Mordellistina sexnotata Champion J.J. 1   Malaise trap VII    
Mordellinae nr. Paramordellaria PAR001 J.J. 1 RS yellow pan trap IV    
Mordellinae Mordellaria MOL002 J.J. 1 WT yellow pan trap VII    
Mordellinae Mordella flavolineata Champion J.J. 3 AS, WT flight intercept trap VII    
Mordellinae Mordellaria MOL003 J.J. 8 WT, SL, RS, MA yellow pan trap,Malaise trap,

flight intercept trap

VII,IX    
Mordellinae Tolidomordella TOL001 J.J. 1 RS Malaise trap VII    
Mordellinae Tolidomordella TOL002 J.J. 2 RS, AS Malaise trap, flight intercept trap VII    
Mordellinae Paramordellaria PAR002 J.J. 2 RS Malaise trap VII    
Mordellinae Glipostenoda GLI001 J.J. 2 AS flight intercept trap VII