PROC. ENTOMOL. SOC. WASH. 105(2). 2003. pp. 441-446 FLEA BEETLES (COLEOPTERA: CHRYSOMELIDAE) OCCURRING ON AMARANTHUS RETROFLEXUS L. IN ERZURUM PROVINCE. TURKEY, AND THEIR POTENTIAL AS BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS IrFAN A.SLAN, HiKMET OZBEK, AND ALEXANDER KONSTANTINOV (lA. HO) Atatiirk University, Agricultural Faculty. Department ot Plant Protection. 25240 Erzurum, Turkey (e-mail: [email protected]); (AK) Systematic Entomology Laboratory, PSI, Agricultural Research Service U.S. Department of Agriculture. 'V Na-tional Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560-0168. U.S.A. (e-mail: [email protected]) Abstract. — Species composition and abundance of Hea beetles (Coleoptera, Chryso-melidae) associated with Aimiraiitluis retroflexiis L. (Amaranthaceae) were studied in Er-zurum province, Turkey, to find potential candidates for biological control of this weed. Insects were collected by sweeping net and aspirator on plant foliage at eight localities four times during the growing season. During three years of exploration, ten species of flea beetles were collected Chaetocnema breviusciila (Faldermann). Ch. conciwui (Mar-sham), Ch. hortensis (Geoffroy), Ch. tibialis (Illiger), Longitarsus lougipewiis Kutschera, L. pelliicidiis Foudras. Phyllotreta atra (E), Ph. cniciferae (Goeze), Ph. iiigripes (E), and Ph. vittiila (Redtenbacher). In all localities Ch. tibialis was more abundant than other species. Simple feeding tests in petri dishes showed that only the Chaetocnema species were actually feeding on leaves of Amaranthus retrofie.xiis. Analysis of flea beetle species associated with this plant shows that it is probably not native to Turkey. Key Wants: flea beetles, biological control, Amaraiilhiis retrofie.xiis L.. Chaetocnema Amaranthus retrofle.xus L. (Amarantha-ceae), or redroot pigweed, occurs through-out much of the world, including Europe, North and South America. Asia. Africa and Australia. In North America it is common from Canada to Mexico, and from the At-lantic to the Pacific coasts (Spencer 1957). It is a summer annual, commonly found in cultivated lands such as fields, gardens, and orchards; fallow land, stream valleys, beaches and streambanks. prairie ravines, roadsides, fence rows, and waste places (Roland and Smith 1969). Amaranthus re-trofle.xus is harmful to livestock because it affects the kidneys of swine when animals consume large quantities of fresh material (Wohleemuth et al. 1987), and it is consid-ered an important exotic weed in North America (King 1966). However, the native range of this plant is unclear. Some authors believe it was introduced into the United States in the early 18th century (King 1966) and later to Eastern Europe and Russia (Ni-kitin 1983). but Auld and Medd ( 1987) con-sidered it to be native to North America. Different sources provide opposing ideas on the history of its distribution. For example, according to Haughton (1978) it is native to Spain, from which it was brought to the New World by conquistadors. Beimejo and Gonzalez ( 1994) suggest that the same con-quistadors transported it in the opposite di-rection, from South America to Spain. Three amaranth species occur in Turkey.