Museum, University of Nebraska State


Date of this Version


Document Type



Bulletin of the University of Nebraska State Museum (1988) 11(2): 1-155


Copyright 1998, Ronald M. Young. Used by permission


The North American species of the genus Polyphylla Harris, 1841, are defined and revised for the first time since Fall (1928). All name bearing types were examined except those of P. oklahomensis Hatch and P. subvittata LeConte (synonyms of P. hammondl), which are lost. A lectotype is designated for P. gracilis Horn, and neotypes for P. decemlineata (Say), P. occidentalis (L.), and P. variolosa (Hentz). New synonyms of P. decemlineata are P. comstockiana von Bloeker, P. matrona Casey, and P. potsiana Casey. New synonyms of P. crinita LeConte are P. pacifica Casey and P. ruficollis perversa Casey. P. alleni Cazier is a new synonym of P. diffracta Casey. P. crinita nigra Casey is raised to specific rank and P. incolumis relicta Casey, P. incolumis robustula Casey, P. martini von Bloeker, and P. santacruzae von Bloeker are its new synonyms. New synonyms of P. hammondi LeConte are P. latifrons Casey, P. rufescenta Tanner, P. speciosa Casey, and P. speciosa acomana Casey. P. marginata is a nomen nudum. Descriptions of first known females are given for P. barbata Cazier, P. devestiva Young, and P. erratica Hardy and Andrews. P. mescalerensis is a new species from southeastern New Mexico. Of the 71 names established since 1767 which represent Polyphylla, 28 are recognized as valid. Females are unknown for 12 species. These species cluster morphologically and geographically into four species complexes. A key to larvae is provided for the four species having described larvae. A key to adults is provided, and all taxa are described or redescribed and illustrated by photographs. Available biological information is included. Distributional data and maps based on 14,094 specimens are provided. A cladistic interpretation and hypothetical phylogeny of the genus are constructed.