Bromius (beetle)

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Temporal range: Late Pleistocene–Present
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Chrysomelidae
Subfamily: Eumolpinae
Tribe: Adoxini
Genus: Bromius
Chevrolat in Dejean, 1836
B. obscurus
Binomial name
Bromius obscurus
  • Adoxus concinnus Weise, 1898
  • Adoxus epilobii Weise, 1882
  • Adoxus lewisi Weise, 1898
  • Adoxus obscurus (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Adoxus weisei Hayden, 1883
  • Bromius japonicus Ohno, 1960
  • Chrysomela nigroquadrata DeGeer, 1775
  • Chrysomela obscura Linnaeus, 1758
  • Chrysomela villosula Schrank, 1781
  • Cryptocephalus vitis Fabricius, 1775
  • Eumolpus cochlearius Say, 1859
  • Eumolpus vitis (Fabricius, 1775)

Bromius is a genus of leaf beetles in the subfamily Eumolpinae. It contains only one species, Bromius obscurus (also called the western grape rootworm)[2]. The distribution of the species is holarctic; it can be found in North America,[3] wide parts of Europe,[4] and Asia. The species is a known pest of grape vines in Europe and western North America.[5]

Fossils of B. obscurus have been found in northeastern Russia, dating back to the late Pleistocene.[6]

Description and variations[edit]

Adults are generally colored black, covered with dull yellow-grey hairs. The elytra and tibiae are either black or reddish-brown. The basal four segments of the antennae are colored orange-red.[7]

A number of variations of the species are known to exist:[8]

  • var. obscurus (Linnaeus, 1758): The typical form. Elytra black, covered by whitish hairs.
  • var. weisei (Hayden, 1883): Elytra black, hairs yellowish, tibiae basally reddish brown.
  • var. epilobii (Weise, 1882): Elytra and tibiae brown, hairs whitish.
  • var. villosulus (Schrank, 1781): Elytra brown, hairs yellowish. Is superficially similar to (and has been confused with) the species Aoria rufotestacea from Korea.[8]

Historically there was disagreement over whether the obscurus and villosulus variations were in fact two separate species or not, based on morphological differences as well as other factors such as habitat and range of food plants. More recently, authors variously treat them as either variations or separate subspecies of B. obscurus.[9]


The generic name Bromius Chevrolat in Dejean, 1836 is a conserved name. It was threatened by Eumolpus in the sense used by Kugelann in Illiger, 1798, which included Cryptocephalus vitis (now a synonym of Bromius obscurus). An application to conserve Bromius and other names by suppressing Eumolpus Kugelann in Illiger, 1798 (modified to Illiger, 1798) was accepted by ICZN in 2012.[10][11]

Bromius obscurus was first described as Chrysomela obscura by Carl Linnaeus in his 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae.


A stridulatory apparatus has been observed on the upper sides of the wings of B. obscurus, the first known in representatives of the subfamily Eumolpinae. It takes a form of a darkened convex microstructure spot near the end of each wing, between the RS and Cu veins.[12]

Symbiotic bacteria is associated with symbiotic organs found in the gut of B. obscurus. In females, it is also associated with genital accessory organs. Molecular phylogenetic analysis has showed that the bacterial symbiont is part of the Gammaproteobacteria.[13]



  1. ^ Moseyko, A. G.; Sprecher-Uebersax, E. (2010). "Eumolpinae". In Löbl, I.; Smetana, A. (eds.). Catalogue of Palaearctic Coleoptera. Volume 6. Chrysomeloidea. Stenstrup, Denmark: Apollo Books. pp. 619–642. ISBN 978-87-88757-84-2.
  2. ^ Common name
  3. ^ USA distribution
  4. ^ European distribution
  5. ^ "Pest Alert – Western Grape Rootworm (Bromius obscurus)" (PDF). Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  6. ^ Kiselev, S. V.; Nazarov, V. I. (2009). "Late Cenozoic insects of northern Eurasia". Paleontological Journal. 43 (7): 732–850. doi:10.1134/S0031030109070016.
  7. ^ "Bromius obscurus (Linnaeus, 1758) | UK Beetle Recording". Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  8. ^ a b An, Seunglak; Hong, Chang‐Ki; Kim, Seulki; Lee, Seongkyun; Cho, Soowon (2014). "Aoria rufotestacea Faimaire (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) long been confused as Bromius obscurus (Linnaeus) in Korea". Entomological Research. 44 (2): 80–85. doi:10.1111/1748-5967.12052.
  9. ^ Vig, Károly (2011). "On whose shoulders we stand – the pioneering entomological discoveries of Károly Sajó". ZooKeys (157): 159–179. doi:10.3897/zookeys.157.2044. PMC 3253647. PMID 22303108.
  10. ^ Moseyko, A.G.; Sprecher-Uebersax, E.; Löbl, I. (2010). "Case 3519 Eumolpus Weber, 1801, Chrysochus Chevrolat in Dejean, 1836 and Bromius Chevrolat in Dejean, 1836 (Insecta, Coleoptera, chrysomelidae): proposed conservation of usage". The Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature. 67 (3): 218–224. doi:10.21805/bzn.v67i3.a10.
  11. ^ ICZN (2012). "Opinion 2298 (Case 3519) Eumolpus Weber, 1801, Chrysochus Chevrolat in Dejean, 1836 and Bromius Chevrolat in Dejean, 1836 (Insecta, Coleoptera, chrysomelidae): usage conserved". The Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature. 69 (2): 147–149. doi:10.21805/bzn.v69i2.a6. The Commission has conserved the usage of the generic names Eumolpus Weber, 1801, Chrysochus Chevrolat in Dejean, 1836 and Bromius Chevrolat in Dejean, 1836 by suppressing the name Eumolpus Illiger, 1798.
  12. ^ Medvedev, L.N.; Muravitzky, O.S. (2009). "On the presence of a stridulatory apparatus in leaf beetles of the subfamily Eumolpinae (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae)". Entomological Review. 89 (9): 1030–1034. doi:10.1134/S0013873809090036.
  13. ^ Fukumori, K.; Koga, R.; Nikoh, N.; Fukatsu, T. (2017). "Symbiotic bacteria associated with gut symbiotic organs and female genital accessory organs of the leaf beetle Bromius obscurus (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)". Applied Entomology and Zoology. 52 (4): 589–598. doi:10.1007/s13355-017-0513-0.