A new genus and species, Paleodoris lattini gen. n., sp. n. of palm bugs (Hemiptera: Thaumastocoridae, Xylastodorinae) in Dominican amber represents the first description of a fossil thaumastocorid. The new taxon is near Xylastodoris, an extant genus native to Cuba, but differs from it in the size and shape of the clypeus, mandibular plates and pronotum. The fossil shows a similar morphology (flattened body and legs, porrect head, smooth body surface) to X. luteolus, which inhabits the confined spaces between the closed leaves of the Royal Palm (Roystonea regia). By comparative functional morphology, we presume that the fossil species lived in a similar habitat, possibly between the pinnae of palms that grew in the Dominican Republic some 20-40 million years ago.
This book summarizes what is actually known about the biology of Leaf Beetles. It is the most recent study in the field.
As we are well aware, Chrysomelidae, one of the three largest families of beetles, are of great economic importance since they can be a serious pest to crops or, on the other hand, can be used to destroy imported weeds. This is due to the selectivity of their feeding preferences. In this way, Chrysomelidae are an invaluable tool for studying plant selection mechanisms.
The many and varied topics dealt with in this book cover almost all aspects of phylogeny, classification, paleontology, parasitology, biogeography, defenses, population biology, genetics and biological control as well as many other subjects. The most renowned specialists in these fields have been chosen to put together a diverse, state-of-the-art publication.
Few beetle families have been studied in such detail as the Chrysomelids. This is not only due to their economic importance, but also to their incredible variety of forms and behaviors. There are no less than 40,000 species currently in existence worldwide, but probably 100,000 species have existed since the Jurassic, when they first came into being with the Cycadoids and other primitive plant families, later to diversify during the Cretaceous with the advent of flowering plants.