Pollen beetles

Pollen beetles

The Pollen Beetles RES Handbook covers the family Kateretidae and the subfamily Meligethinae (of the family Nitidulidae).

This volume features keys to subfamilies, genera and species, with particular emphasis on confirmatory characters of male and female genitalia. These keys lead to the species notes, covering these characters, plus distribution within Britain and Ireland and the rest of the world, dates of occurrence, host-plants and habitat preference. Finally each set of notes ends with a list of published records from major entomological literature sources.

In addtion to the keys and species notes, the volume includes the following.

  • A checklist of the British Kateretidae and Nitidulidae
  • Sections on the life history and pre-imaginal stages, with special emphasis on the ‘rape blossom beetles’.
  • A guide to larval foodplants, including the flowering periods of these host species.
  • A discussion of the family Nitidulidae in the fossil record, such as the genus Meligethes in Quaternary peat deposits.
  • Table of the recorded parasites, avian and insect predators and phoretic mites.
  • Techniques for collection and preservation, including the dissection and preparation of male and female genitalia.
  • Techniques for collecting and rearing larvae, plus host-plant associations.

Overall only a few species of pollen beetles are of any economic importance. Within the family Kateretidae, two species in the genus Brachypterolus are minor pests of cultivated Snapdragon plants in parks and gardens. In contrast the Meligethinae can cause more serious problems. In particular, Meligethes aeneus and M. viridescens are pests of cruciferous crops. Feeding of adults in buds of oilseed rape and brown and white mustard causes them to abort, with consequent loss of pods. The adults can cause significant yield loss.

RES Handbook vol 5 part 6a