Melobasis interstitialis, Blackburn

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: 28-31

publication ID

https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4528.1.1

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:BDC3CA73-9B9E-4331-870F-120458275358

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/03CC87E1-974B-C552-6FD2-9CC4FB3A45B6

treatment provided by

Plazi

scientific name

Melobasis interstitialis
status

 

M. interstitialis Blackburn  

(Figs 6, 45–46, 104–105, 150, 182, 190, 204–206)

Melobasis interstitialis Blackburn 1890:130   ; Carter 1923:82; 1929:285; 1931:107; Obenberger 1930:432; Bellamy 2002:154; Bellamy 2008:1323.

Type locality: Australia   .

Type specimen examined. Holotype ♂ ( BMNH)   , Holotype / 6972 Australia T./ Melobasis interstitialis Blackb     ./ HOLOTYPE Melobasis interstitialis B. Levey   det. 1995/ Blackburn Coll. 1910-236. [Blackburn’s notebook in BMNH gives the following information for 6972: from French? locality]   .

Other specimens examined: Western Australia: Chapman River; Coronation Beach, 25 km N. of Geraldton; Eradu; False Entrance Well; Fitzgerald River National Park; Geraldton; Greenough; 7km S. of Gregory. Specimens examined from AMSA; ANIC; BLC; MMSA; NMWC; SAMA; NMPC; TMSHC; UQA; WADA; WAMA; ZMHB.

Diagnosis. General diagnosis: length 11.4–16.6 mm; head mostly deep reddish violet to blackish lilac, sometimes partly blackish green on upper part of vertex, the impunctate border of the fronto-clypeal excision sometimes partly blue-green or coppery; pronotum brownish to blackish bronze, the lateral margins in basal half usually more or less extensively reddish violet to coppery; elytra with the areas between the costae mostly greenish bronze, the costae and raised sutural margin predominantly deep violet to blue-black, with the following coppery markings: a narrow sutural vitta in the basal fifth (sometimes absent); an elongate median macula just before the mid-length, which is sometimes entirely confined to the 1 st costa; two very narrow elongate vittae in the basal fifth, and at the apical third, confined to the 2 nd costa; a very narrow elongate vitta at the apical third, confined to the apex of the 3 rd costa (sometimes absent); a very narrow elongate vitta just basal of the mid-length, confined to the 4 th costa; underside predominantly brownish bronze to brownish copper in the glabrous central parts, becoming blackish- or greenish bronze in the lateral densely pubescent parts.

Head (Fig. 150): contiguously punctate with small strong punctures, which are arranged in dorso-ventrally orientated linear series over most of the vertex and frontoclypeus; densely to very densely clothed with long silvery pubescence, which partly obscures the punctation; ridges between the punctures shiny; clypeal excision shallow U- or V-shaped, with a fairly broad complete, impunctate, microreticulate border; clypeal peaks right angled; vertex flat, slightly more than half width of head across eyes when viewed from above; eyes very strongly convex.

Antenna (Fig. 190): not sexually dimorphic; weakly triangularly serrate from segment 4–10, becoming progressively more petiolate, and slightly progressively shorter; segment 3 about 3 to 4 × as long as wide at its widest point.

Pronotum: 1.30–1.43 × as wide at base as long in midline; anterior margin strongly bisinuate, with a well developed broad median lobe, without a well defined beaded margin; posterior margin weakly biarcuate; widest near apical third; lateral margins weakly, almost rectilinearly diverging from basal angles to widest point, before weakly curvilinearly converging to apical angles; basal angles acute; very slightly narrower at base than elytra at base; lateral carina slightly sinuate about half to three-quarters complete; punctation in central-third sparse, consisting of small, shallow, weak, round and slightly transversely elliptical punctures, and pin-prick punctures; punctation in lateral two-thirds dense, consisting of larger stronger round and elliptical punctures; without an impunctate median line, but with an irregular elongate impunctate area in the lateral quarter at the apical third; densely clothed with moderately long silvery pubescence in lateral half.

Scutellum: quadrate to almost heart shaped, about one-sixteenth to one-thirteenth width of elytra at base.

Elytra 2.48–2.65 × as long as wide at base; basal margin weakly biangulate; slightly widening from the base over the humeral callosities, thence almost parallel sided to a little beyond mid-length, before narrowing to the rounded or sub-acute apices; lateral margins in apical third and apices with moderately coarse acute serrations, the tooth nearest the suture often larger producing a sub-acute apex to the elytra; sutural margins slightly raised in apical third to half, becoming costate nearer the base, and widening in basal quarter to produce a slightly raised elongate slightly triangular shaped area (sutural boss); each elytron with four approximately equidistant costae as follows: 1st widest, extending from base almost to apex; 2 nd extending from base to apical fifth; 3 rd extending from the humeral callosity to apical third; 4 th to apical fifth; the costae, raised sutural margin and sutural boss, sparsely punctate, with very small, weak, and pin-prick punctures; remainder of elytra very densely punctate, with small, stronger, mostly transversely elliptical punctures, which often form tranverse series near the lateral margin; moderately strongly microreticulate.

Hypomeron: very densely to contiguously punctate, with small, partly imbricate punctures, mostly obscured by very dense long silvery pubescence.

Prosternum: with a narrow bead at the anterior margin, sometimes absent in the central part; the anterior margin at the same level as the area behind; laterally with slightly developed tubercles just behind the margin; prosternal process slightly widening distally, sparsely punctate, with small, weak, round, and pin-prick punctures, glabrous.

Mesanepisternum (Fig. 182): densely to very densely punctate, with small, round, shallow punctures, partly obscured by long silvery pubescence.

Central part of metaventrite, inner part of metacoxa, and central part of abdominal ventrites glabrous, more sparsely and weakly punctate than lateral parts of the these structures, which are densely to very densely punctate, and very densely clothed with long silvery pubescence, which largely obscures the punctation.

Apical ventrite (Figs 104–105): lunate punctures coalescing to form grooves parallel to the lateral margin; excision in ♂ broad, W shaped, with the flange produced at the centre as a narrow truncate lobe, with well developed lateral spines slightly turned in towards the midline (Fig. 104); ♀ narrow, deep U-shaped, the flange slightly developed, the lateral spines well developed parallel or slightly turned in towards midline (Fig. 105).

Fore tibia: ♂ almost straight, with a large posteriorly facing tooth at apex, several smaller teeth behind it on the ventral surface, and a setal brush on the anterior face at the apex (Figs 204–205); ♀ teeth absent, and setal brush less developed.

Mid tibia: ♂ slightly curved, with a few widely spaced teeth on the inner face (Fig. 206); ♀ almost straight, without serrations.

Aedeagus (Figs 45–46): 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. The unusual elytral markings of this species make it unlikely that it will be confused with any other known species. This species appears to be confined to the coastal areas of W. Australia.

Bionomics. Adults collected late September–November on flowering Acacia   spp. Adult reared from Acacia cochlearis   from Fitzgerald River National Park.

M. kaszabi (Pochon)  

(Figs 26, 63–64, 127–128, 162, 173, 207)

Briseis kaszabi Pochon 1967:279   ; Bellamy 2002:143; 2008:1324; Bellamy et al. 2013:58

Type locality: Western Australia ( Australia occid.) [Modern specimens of this species are only known from N. Queensland, and the type locality is undoubtedly incorrect]   .

Type specimens examined. Paratype ♀ ( NMPC) Australia occid. 1192/ Typus/ Briseis kaszabi   m. Type Det. Dr. Obenberger   / Paratypus / Briseis kaszabi   m. Det. H. Pochon, Paratypus.

Other specimens examined. Queensland: 1 ♂ ( BMNH) Kuranda , 1100 feet, January 1948, on Alphitonia excelsa Reiss, J.G. Brooks     ; 1 ♂ ( ANIC) Bank’s Island, Elyner 1910   ; 1 ♂ ( BLC) Mt. Molloy , 12/52, G.B   .; 1 ♀ ( MVMA) Endeavour River , French Coll   .; 1 ♀ ( WAMA) S. Johnstone River , H.W. Brown, du Boulay Coll   .; 1 ♂ ( TMSHC) Garradunga , 10. 2. 1993, J. Hasenpusch   ; 2 ♂ ( ANIC) Prince of Wales Island , Gulf of Carpentaria, February 1939, Mrs R.G. Wind   ; 1 ♀ ( NMPC) Australia, comp. with Type H.J.C., viridiceps Saund     .

Diagnosis. General diagnosis: length 9.7–13.9 mm; upperside brownish bronze to greenish bronze, the elytra with more or less extensive reddish violet reflections in the inner half; underside brownish bronze to greenish bronze.

Head (Fig. 162): contiguously punctate with small round strong punctures in ♂, very densely to almost contiguously punctate in ♀, the punctures slightly weaker; densely clothed with moderately long silvery pubescence, which does not obscure the punctation; rims of the punctures shiny to weakly microreticulate; clypeal excision shallow to very shallow, broad, U-shaped, with a narrow impunctate microreticulate border only developed at the centre of the excision; clypeal peaks obtuse angled without a defined clypeal angle; vertex flat, slightly more than one third width of head across eyes when viewed from above; eyes very strongly convex.

Antenna: segments expanded from 4–11, segment 4 with expansion triangular, segments 5–11 with expansion quadrate.

Pronotum: 1.52–1.60 × as wide at base as long in midline; anterior margin strongly bisinuate, with a slightly developed, broad median lobe; with a fairly broad well defined beaded margin; posterior margin weakly bisinuate; widest at basal third to mid-length; lateral margins slightly diverging from basal angles to widest point, often with a slight sinuation a short distance anterior to the basal angles, before converging to apical angles; basal angles right or obtuse angled; as wide as or very slightly narrower at base than elytra at base; lateral carina straight for most of its length, but strongly incurved near the apex, about four-fifths complete; punctation in central third of pronotum dense, consisting of small, mostly transversely elliptical punctures, mostly arranged in slightly sinuate transverse series, laterally the punctures become very dense, larger, and progressively more oval towards the lateral margin; with inconspicuous sparse short silvery pubescence close to the lateral margin, mainly confined to the apical third.

Scutellum: very small shield shaped, about one-eighteenth to one twenty-fourth width of elytra at base.

Elytra 2.28–2.45 × as long as wide at base; slightly to rather noticeably widening from the base over the humeral callosities, thence parallel sided, or slightly widening to mid-length, before narrowing to the rounded or sub-acute apices; lateral margins in apical half and apices with coarse acute serrations; sutural margins slightly raised in apical two-thirds; each elytron with at most very slight indications of one or two costate intervals in the internal half; internal half moderately densely punctate with small round punctures, punctures between the slightly costate intervals largely arranged in longitudinal series adjacent to the costate intervals; punctation in external half denser, consisting of larger, transversely oval to elliptical punctures, which become progressively larger towards the lateral margin, where they become almost contiguous; very weakly to weakly microreticulate.

Hypomeron: very densely to contiguously punctate, with large, very shallow, mostly ovate punctures, with sparse short silvery pubescence.

Prosternum: with a broad bead at the anterior margin; the anterior margin at the same level as the area behind; prosternal process slightly or moderately strongly widening distally, sparsely punctate, with small, weak, round, and pin-prick punctures, glabrous or with a few setae at the margins.

Mesanepisternum (Fig. 173): shiny, mirror like, sometimes with a few large shallow setae bearing punctures in the posterior half.

Central part of metaventrite, inner part of metacoxa, central part of abdominal ventrites glabrous or very sparsely pubescent, more sparsely and weakly punctate than lateral parts of these structures, which are very densely punctate with lunate punctures, with sparse moderately long silvery pubescence.

Apical ventrite (Figs 127–128): lunate punctures coalescing near the lateral margin and forming grooves; excision in ♂ broad, W shaped, with a narrow, approximately triangular lobe at the centre, with moderately long well developed, very slightly convergent lateral spines (Fig. 127); ♀ very narrow, U-shaped, the lateral spines well developed, slightly convergent (Fig. 128).

Fore tibia: ♂ strongly curved, with a very small triangular tooth at apex, and a slightly developed setal brush on the anterior face at the apex; ♀ slightly less curved and tooth absent, or even smaller.

Mid tibia: ♂ rather swollen, strongly curved, and with a series of small teeth along the ventral posterior margin (Fig. 207); ♀ noticeably widening towards apex, almost straight and without teeth.

Aedeagus (Figs 63–64): parameres strongly constricted before the apical setae bearing part; apical setae bearing part about one quarter the total length of the parameres; setae bearing part with long, very slightly curved, spine-like setae, in addition to the usual long fine setae; median lobe sub-acute at tip.

Ovipositor: not examined.

Comments. This very distinct species cannot be confused with any other in the species group. The aedeagus is very different from that of the other species, and the vertex is narrower than in the other species. It is the only known species of the group that occurs in the North Tropical areas of Australia.

Bionomics. Adults have been collected from December to February. One specimen was collected on Alphitonia excelsa (Fenzl)   ( Rhamnaceae   ). Larval host Alphitonia petriei ( Bellamy, 2013).

NMPC

National Museum Prague

ANIC

Australian National Insect Collection

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Arthropoda

Class

Insecta

Order

Coleoptera

Family

Buprestidae

Genus

Melobasis

Loc

Melobasis interstitialis

Levey, Brian 2018
2018
Loc

Briseis kaszabi

Bellamy, C. L. & Williams, G. A. & Hasenpusch, J. & Sundholm, A. 2013: 58
Bellamy, C. L. 2002: 143
Pochon, H. 1967: 279
1967
Loc

Melobasis interstitialis Blackburn 1890 :130

Bellamy, C. L. 2008: 1323
Bellamy, C. L. 2002: 154
Obenberger, J. 1930: 432
Carter, H. J. 1923: 82
Blackburn, T. 1890: 130
1890