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Significance of Genus-Level Taxonomic Composition of Alpine Leaf Beetles (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae) for Zoogeographic Studie
1  Ural State Forest Engineering University, Yekaterinburg, Russia
Academic Editor: António Onofre Soares


Composition of subfamilies in leaf beetles can be used for faunistic comparisons of large zoogeographic units. In the Arctic and alpine regions of Palaearctic subfamily Chrysomelinae is dominating and composition of its genera (subgenera) is very peculiar. Several genera are typically and exclusively alpine, others include alpine species in exact subgenera. The most speciose genus Oreomela Jcbs. (over 80 species) is distributed throughout the high mountains of Central Asia, with the centre of diversity in Tien-Shan and its northern limit in the mountains of South Siberia. Genus Xenomela Weise (11 species) is restricted to Tien-Shan, Parambrostoma Chen (7 species) is distributied in the southern slope of the Himalayas. Genus Oreothassa Jcbs. with two species and monotypic Apterocuris Jcbs. are endemic to Altai Mts. Genus Suinzona Chen (20 species) is distributed mainly in the Hengduan Mountain region of China. Sclerophaedon Weise demonstrates unique situation with three centers of diversity, in Europe, China (Sichuan, Gansu) and Nepal. True alpine communities in Europe host the diverse genus Oreina Chevr. (24 species). Outside European mountains two alpine species of Oreina are represented Altai-Sayan Mountains. In alpine zone of the Urals represented by alpine tundra communities Oreina is absent but Chrysolina demonstrates peculiar composition of subgenera: Pleurosticha + Arctolina + Pezocrosita + Crositops. Both Pleurosticha and Arctolina are typical arctic-alpine subgenera of Northern Asia. West Sayan hosts endemic subgenus Paraheliostola L.Medv. and composition of Chrysolina subgenera there is Pleurosticha + Paraheliostola + Chrysocrosita. Chrysocrosita is common for the Sayans with Mongolian Altai and the Far Eastern mountains. Therefore genus-level taxonomic composition of alpine leaf beetles reveals both distinguishing features of exact mountain systems and their interconnections.

Keywords: alpine communities; leaf beetles; taxonomic composition; mountains of Eurasia