Melobasis cupreovittata subsp. cupreovittata, cupreovittata Saunders,

Levey, Brian, 2018, A revision of the Australian species of the genus Melobasis Laporte & Gory 1837 (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), Part 2 (Revision of the nervosa species group), Zootaxa 4528 (1), pp. 1-79: 18-20

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Melobasis cupreovittata subsp. cupreovittata


M. cupreovittata cupreovittata Saunders 

(Figs 2–3, 41–42, 98–99, 149, 188–189, 194–196, 214–215)

Melobasis cupreovittata Saunders 1876:155  ; Thomson 1879:22; Kerremans 1885:136 (Melabasis); 1892:104; 1903:158; Masters 1886:73; Carter 1923:82; 1929:284; Goudie 1920:30; Obenberger 1930:429; Bellamy & Peterson 2000:95; Bellamy 2002:148; 2008:1318; Bellamy et al 2013:56. Type locality: South Australia, Gawler.

Melobasis obsoleta Thomson 1879:15  ; Kerremans 1892:105; 1903:160; Carter 1923:82; 1929:284; Obenberger 1930:429; Bellamy 2002:149; 2008:1318. Type locality: Australia.

M. vittigera Thomson 1879:16  ; Kerremans 1892:107; Blackburn 1892:287; Kerremans 1903:158; Carter 1923:82; 1929:284; Obenberger 1930:429; Bellamy 2002:149; 2008:1319. Type locality: South Australia, Adelaide.

Unavailable name: Melobasis univittata Obenberger 1942:99  (ab. of cupreovittata  ); Bellamy & Peterson 2000:95; Bellamy 2002:149; 2008:1319. Type locality: South Australia, Gawler.

Type specimens examined. Melobasis cuprovittata Saunders.  Lectotype, here designated, ♂ ( BMNH), LECTO- TYPE/ Type/ aust/ Gawler/ cupreovittata ES/ Saunders 74.18/ LECTOTYPE  Melobasis cupreovittata Saunders, B.Levey  det.2012. [The original description gives a size range which indicates that Saunders had more than one specimen before him when he described the species. There is another male without locality bearing the same accession label, Saunders 74:18, which might be another specimen on which the description was based, and could be considered to be a paralectotype].

Melobasis obsoleta Thomson.  Holotype ♀ (MNHN), Melobasis obsoleta (Deyr.)  / Th. Type / obsoleta (H. Deyr. M.s.s.), Th. Type., Ap 1. 15. Austral.

M. vittigera Thomson.  Holotype ♂ (MNHN), Th. Type / vittigera Thoms.  (M.s.s.) Type Ap 1. 16. Adilaide.

Melobasis univittata Obenberger.  Holotype ♀ (NMPC), Queensland Collection Dr Obenberger/ Typus/ Melobasis cuprovittata v. univittata  m. Type Det. Dr. Obenberger / Mus Nat Pragae Inv. 22014. [ The original description says the Type comes from Australia mer., Gowlerstown (presumably Gawler in S. Australia)].

Other specimens examined. South Australia: Adelaide; Buckaringa Gorge, 30 km N.N.W. of Quorn; Burgess Gorge, Flinders Range; 5 miles N. of Hawker; 12 miles N.W. of Hawker; Horrocks Pass; Mt. Serle, N. Flinders Range; Nuriootpa; 18 km N.E. of Oodlawirra; Parchilna, Flinders Range; Yunta. Northern Territory: near Alice Springs. Victoria: Birchip; Horsham; Mallee District; Mt. Korong, near Inglewood; Sea Lake; 3km N.E. of Walpeup; Wyperfield Parish. New South Wales: Armidale; Dangars Falls, S.E. of Armidale; Kinchega National Park; Sydney [Old specimen: probably an incorrect locality]. Specimens in AMSA, ANIC, BLC, BMNH, GWCA, IRSNB, MMSA, MPC, MVMA, QMA, SAMA, UQA, WAMA.

Diagnosis. General diagnosis: length 10.5–15.5 mm; head in ♂ reddish-copper, reddish-purple or rarely bluegreen, in lower two-thirds, upper third blackish-purple; in ♀ largely blackish-purple, sometimes with the frontoclypeus coppery or green; pronotum and elytra usually dull purple-brown, more rarely coppery or blackish-purple; elytra with the following green, golden-green, blue-green, or coppery markings: a narrow sutural vitta in the basal quarter; a broader slightly oblique vitta just internal of the humeral callosity, which is sometimes narrowly joined to the sutural vitta along the basal margin; an equally broad elongate vitta between the 1 st and 2 nd costae at the midlength of the elytra; an equally broad slightly curved very elongate tear-shaped vitta in the apical third of the elytra, bordering the 2 nd costa (Fig. 3); in some specimens the latter three markings may be fused to produce a single bisinuate elongate vitta (Fig. 2); an elongate macula close to the lateral margin, just posterior to the hind coxa, which is sometimes reduced or absent; underside coppery, reddish-copper or reddish-purple, becoming darker laterally; laterally densely clothed with fairly long translucent silvery pubescence, most of prosternum, prosternal process, mesosternum, and central parts of metaventrite and abdominal ventrites glabrous or very sparsely pubescent.

Head (Fig. 149): lower two-thirds of vertex and fronto-clypeus in ♂ contiguously punctate with small strong, deep, almost round punctures, the punctures of the upper third of the vertex less dense and shallower; in ♀ the punctures shallower, more ovate, often forming linear series, with the interpunctural ridges more obvious; densely clothed with moderately long, translucent silvery pubescence; clypeal excision moderately deep U- to V-shaped, with a very narrow microreticulate impunctate border, clypeal peaks right angled, clypeal angulation slightly developed; vertex flat, slightly more than half width of head across eyes when viewed from above; eyes strongly convex.

Antenna (Figs 188–189): ♂ (Fig. 189) serrate from segment 3–10, the expanded part of segment 3 weakly triangular, of 4 almost triangular, that of 5–10 quadrate, segments progressively more petiolate, the expanded part of the more apical segments only occupying half the length of the segment; segment 11 also strongly petiolate, with the apical expanded part almost quadrate; in ♀ (Fig. 188) segments 4–10 more weakly expanded, the expanded part of the segments more or less triangular, not obviously petiolate; segment 11 almost ovate.

Pronotum: 1.32–1.47 × as wide at base as long in midline; anterior margin moderately strongly bisinuate, with a broad well developed median lobe, in some specimens the median lobe is less produced and the anterior margin almost straight at the centre; posterior margin moderately strongly biarcuate; widest at or somewhat behind the mid-length; lateral margins weakly almost rectilinearly diverging to widest point; sometimes parallel for a very short distance in front of posterior angles; weakly to moderately strongly curvilinearly convergent to anterior angles from widest point; slightly narrower at base than elytra at base; lateral carina almost straight with a sinuation close to the base, about half to three-quarters complete; sparsely punctate in central quarter, consisting of very small and pin-prick punctures, lateral to this region the punctures becoming larger, denser and transversely ellipsoidal for a short distance, before becoming even larger and dense, mostly round, in the lateral half; without an impunctate median line, but often with a large shallow, poorly defined depression in the lateral half at the base; shiny, moderately densely to densely clothed, with moderately long translucent silvery pubescence in lateral half.

Scutellum: small, one-twelth to one-eighteenth width of elytra at base, shape variable.

Elytra: 2.54–2.81 × as long as wide at base; basal margin weakly to moderately strongly biangulate; slightly widened over the humeral callosities, thence almost parallel sided to slightly widening to just beyond mid-length, before narrowing to the apices; lateral margins rather weakly serrate in apical quarter to third; apices in ♂ weakly serrate (Fig. 214), in ♀ with an enlarged variably developed, often spine-like tooth near the suture, sometimes the apices emarginate between this tooth and the lateral serrations (Fig. 215) (these characters are most developed in specimens from S. Australia, and less so in those from Victoria and absent in specimens from New South Wales); sutural margin slightly raised in apical three-quarters; with a well defined costa lateral to the subsutural depression and two narrower less well defined costae, equidistant and lateral to the first; punctation of subsutural depression consisting of pin-prick punctures; punctation lateral to the 1 st costa very dense to contiguous, consisting of larger, strong, transversely ovate punctures, which coalesce to form short transverse series lateral to the 3 rd costa; moderately strongly to strongly microscuptured between the punctures.

Hypomeron: very densely to contiguously punctate, with fairly large shallow, slightly polygonal punctures, partly obscured by dense, long, translucent silvery pubescence.

Prosternum: with a well defined bead at the anterior margin, at almost the same level as the area immediately behind, however posterior to this the prosternum and prosternal process is relatively depressed; prosternal process relatively short and broad, slightly widening distally, sparsely punctate with pin-prick punctures; glabrous.

Mesanepisternum: densely punctate with medium sized, shallow, round and slightly lunate puctures, partly obscured by fairly long silvery pubescence.

Apical ventrite (Figs 98–99): with lunate punctures coalescent over most of the surface, forming well defined longitudinal ridges parallel to the lateral margin; excision in ♂ W shaped, the flange strongly produced at the centre, with well developed lateral spines, slightly, to strongly turned in towards the midline (Fig. 98); ♀ excision narrow, deep, U-shaped, the lateral spines well developed, slightly to strongly turned in towards the midline (Fig. 99).

Fore tibia: ♂ (Figs 194–195) strongly curved with a series of teeth on ventral face in the apical half and a slightly developed setal brush on the anterior face at apex; ♀ tibia almost straight, without teeth.

Mid tibia: ♂ (Fig. 196) strongly curved with a series of teeth on ventral face; ♀ almost straight, without teeth.

Aedeagus (Figs 41–42): parameres strongly widening towards the base; apical setae bearing part with numerous, large, slightly curved spine-like setae, in addition to the usual long fine setae; median lobe with a rounded tip.

Ovipositor: not examined.

Comments. This subspecies is known from three main geographical areas: The Flinders ranges of S. Australia, inland N. W. Victoria, and northern New South Wales This subspecies exhibits considerable variation in elytral markings, and in the form of the elytral apices in the female, which appear to be partly correlated with geography, and may indicate that there is geographical and perhaps genetic isolation between the different populations (see description).

Bionomics. Adults have been collected from September to January on Acacia  spp. ( Fabaceae  ). Larval hosts unknown.














Melobasis cupreovittata subsp. cupreovittata

Levey, Brian 2018

Melobasis obsoleta

Bellamy, C. L. 2002: 149
Obenberger, J. 1930: 429
Carter, H. J. 1923: 82
Kerremans, C. 1892: 105
Thomson, J. 1879: 15

M. vittigera

Bellamy, C. L. 2002: 149
Obenberger, J. 1930: 429
Carter, H. J. 1923: 82
Kerremans, C. 1903: 158
Kerremans, C. 1892: 107
Blackburn, T. 1892: 287
Thomson, J. 1879: 16

Melobasis cupreovittata Saunders 1876 :155

Bellamy, C. L. & Williams, G. A. & Hasenpusch, J. & Sundholm, A. 2013: 56
Bellamy, C. L. 2002: 148
Bellamy, C. L. & Peterson, M. 2000: 95
Obenberger, J. 1930: 429
Carter, H. J. 1923: 82
Goudie, J. C. 1920: 30
Masters, G. 1886: 73
Kerremans, C. 1885: 136
Thomson, J. 1879: 22
Saunders, E. 1876: 155