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Herbivory in gingers from latest Cretaceous to present: is the ichnogenus Cephaloleichnites (Hispinae, Coleoptera) a rolled-leaf beetle?

  • Carlos García-Robledo (a1) and Charles L. Staines (a2)

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It is suggested that rolled-leaf hispine beetles (Hispinae, Coleoptera) and plants from the order Zingiberales maintained a highly specialized plant-herbivore interaction for >60 My. The evidence supporting this old and conservative interaction are herbivory marks found on leaves of the genus Zingiberopsis (Zingiberaceae) from the latest Cretaceous and early Eocene. This fossil herbivory was described as the ichnotaxon Cephaloleichnites strongii (Hispinae, Coleoptera), based on the assumption that this type of herbivory can be solely attributed to extant rolled-leaf beetles. This ichnotaxon has been a key element in several analyses on the origin, radiation and diversification of tropical insect herbivores. In this paper we report feeding patterns equivalent to those described in Zingiberopsis fossils but produced by larvae of Pyralidae and Choreutidae (Lepidoptera) and Anopsilus weevils (Curculionidae, Coleoptera) in four families of extant Zingiberales. We discuss the implications of C. strongii not being a rolled leaf beetle and how this may affect the current knowledge of the co-diversification of rolled-leaf beetles and their host plants from the order Zingiberales.

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Herbivory in gingers from latest Cretaceous to present: is the ichnogenus Cephaloleichnites (Hispinae, Coleoptera) a rolled-leaf beetle?

  • Carlos García-Robledo (a1) and Charles L. Staines (a2)

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