Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

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Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

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Disoqycha alternata (Illiger) and Altica subplicata (LeConte) are two flea-beetles characteristically found feeding on Salix spp. The only studies done to date on these two genera are taxonomic, either local faunistic or descriptive works. Both Disonycha and Altica have been taxonomically studied for limited zoogeographic areas, but many of these works are old, incomplete, and in need of revision. No previous work has been done on the biologies of either of these two species. This paper includes morphological descriptions of the larvae of D. alternata and A. subplicata and outlines their life histories. A few notes on behavior have also been included in the life history section. This research augments the scant knowledge now available on the biologies of these genera and helps to clarify their taxonomy by establishing distinctive ecological patterns. Altica subplicata (Lee.) and Altica plicipennis (Mann.) are both members of the A. bimarginata species-complex which feed on Salix spp. These 2 species have been confused in the past and there is still some question as to whether or not they are distinct species. Likewise, Disonycha alternata (Ill.) and Disonycha pluriligata (LeC.) are both members of the D. alternata species-complex which also feed on willow. Some individuals still question whether or not these are 2 distinct species. This paper was intended to help clarify the confusion by providing ecological information on 2 of the 4 species in question.

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South Dakota State University