(searched for: doi:10.3406/linly.2015.17734)
European Journal of Entomology, Volume 117, pp 490-503; https://doi.org/10.14411/eje.2020.052
Oulema melanopus (Linnaeus, 1758) and Oulema duftschmidi (Redtenbacher, 1874) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) are two native West Palaearctic species developing on various cultivated and wild grasses. Along with O. obscura they are considered to be secondary pests of cereal crops. However, local outbreaks have been recorded recently and their status as secondary pests may evolve, especially as the use of broad-spectrum insecticides is now greatly reduced. Oulema melanopus and O. duftschmidi are considered to be sibling species. They are morphologically very close and difficult to distinguish from each other, which makes it difficult to study them. We tested the reliability of the standard barcode fragment (COI) for distinguishing between these species. A total of 92 samples of the two species, covering the majority of their natural range, was sequenced for the barcode fragment and inter- and intraspecific genetic distances were estimated. Our results confirm those of Bezdk & Baselga (2015, Acta Entomol. Mus. Nat. Prag. 55: 273-304) in that this marker cannot differentiate between all the species of the Oulema melanopus complex, which in the Mediterranean basin contains several described and possibly some undescribed cryptic species. However, this marker may be useful in an agricultural context in areas where only O. melanopus and O. duftschmidi occur (such as in cereal crops in France) where it can be used to reliably and rapidly separate all stages of these two taxa and can therefore help in studying their ecology and dynamics.
Environmental Entomology, Volume 48, pp 276-283; https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvz002
Cereal leaf beetles (CLBs), a group of chrysomelid beetles of the genus Oulema (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), are well-known pest insects of small-grain cereals in many countries of the Northern hemisphere. Due to the small differences in morphology of species within this genus, classification up to species level remains a challenging task. Since an accurate view of species composition is important for developing targeted control strategies, the goal of this study was to unravel the Oulema species composition in Flanders' wheat fields. During three subsequent years at a series of different fields, Oulema species were collected and classified up to species level (2016: 28 fields, 2017: 30 fields, and 2018: 23 fields). This study reveals that the population consists of four different species: Oulema melanopus, Oulema duftschmidi, and Oulema obscura were most frequently encountered, while Oulema rufocyanea was only marginally present. Furthermore, the population was highly dynamic, as the population share of each species varied between different growing seasons and between the various sampling events within each season. The distance from the field edge had a minor influence on the species composition, but the abundance of beetles increased with the distance to the field edge. A discriminant analysis revealed that based on the measurements of various body parts, an accurate classification up to species level is possible. In conclusion, we observed that the population densities fluctuated within and between years, resulting in variable incidence of CLB in winter wheat fields in the Flanders region.