Biosystematics

Scientific nomenclature is a powerful tool for obtaining information about the basic biology of closely related species within a genus. When systematic studies have been extended beyond the naming of species (taxonomy) and contain detailed information on geographic distribution, host records, and biology of one or more species in a genus, it is often possible to extrapolate the information to other closely related species of that genus. Although details of the biology must be ascertained for each individual species, biosystematics offers a blueprint to follow when dealing with a new pest. For example, the genus Cerotoma (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) contains 10 to 12 species distributed from southern Brazil to the northeastern United States. All seem to be associated with herbaceous plants in the family Fabaceae (bean family). The biology of two of the species, C. trifurcata in North America and C. arcuata in South America (Fig. 2), has been studied extensively. Based

TABLE I Some Landmarks in the Historical Development of Agricultural Entomology"

Significant events

Years ago from 2000

Date

Beginnings of agriculture

10,000

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