Longitarsus helenae Wollaston

St. Helena Leaf Beetle (Longitarsus helenae)

The Saint Helena Leaf Beetle was endemic to the island of Saint Helena.

The species is associated with the likewise endemic Saint Helena Lobelia (Lobelia scaevolifolia Roxb.), which is apparently is main food plant.

The greenish-brassy alutaceous surface and pale elongate limbs of this little Longitarsus, in conjunction with the broad, largely-developed basal joint of its four anterior male feet, will sufficiently characterize it. A single specimen only was taken by Mr. Bewicke. It is quite distinct from any species with which I am acquainted; and Mr. Waterhouse, who has been working lately at the Halticidae, assures me that he knows nothing at all like it.” [1]


The Saint Helena Leaf Beetle wasn’t found during the most recent field surveys and is feared to be extinct. [2] 



[1] T. Vernon Wollaston: On certain Coleoptera from St. Helena. The Journal of Entomology: descriptive and geographical 1(4): 207-216. 1861
[2] Howard Mendel; Philip Ashmole; Myrtle Ashmole: Invertebrates of the Central Peaks and Peak Dale, St. Helena. Report for the St Helena National Trust, Jamestown 2008


edited: 26.05.2021