Melobasis angustecostata subsp. subacuta, Levey, 2018

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: 10-11

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Melobasis angustecostata subsp. subacuta


M. angustecostata subacuta   ssp. n.

(Figs 23, 75–76)

Type locality: Western Australia, 2km N. of Wickham   .

Type specimens examined. Holotype ♂ (WAMA) 2 km n. Wickham, W. Australia, 1 Aug. 1987, M.R. Golding Collection, on Acacia leaves   / 2 km N. Wickham, WA, Aug. 1 1987, Acacia, M. Powell   / HOLOTYPE Melobasis angustecostata subacuta   ssp. n. B. Levey 2017. Paratypes as follows: 3♂, 2♀ (BLC, MPC) same data as holotype; 1♂, 4♀ (MPC) Learmonth, WA, Aug. 3 1989, Acacia, M. Powell   ; 1♀ (WADA) 20 mls. S. of Learmonth, W. Aust., 5.ix.1971, K.T. Richards/ On foliage of Acacia bivenosa   ; 1♀ (BLC) W. AUSTRALIA: Coral Bay. 30.viii.74. No. 399. K. & E. Carnaby.

Diagnosis. General diagnosis: length 10.6–14.8 mm; lower two-thirds of head in ♂ reddish copper or rarely green; in ♀ pale gold sometimes with a greenish tinge; pronotum bronze usually with a golden or greenish reflection; elytra bronze with a golden or coppery reflection, the costae rarely partly reddish violet; underside bronze with extensive golden reflections; underside laterally densely clothed with moderately long silvery pubescence, most of prosternum, prosternal process, mesosternum, and central parts of metaventrite and abdominal ventrites glabrous or very sparsely pubescent.

Head and antennae as in the nominotypical subspecies.

Pronotum: 1.39–1.59 × as wide at base as long in midline; as in the nominotypical subspecies but lateral margins slightly more strongly divergent from the basal angles to the widest point, and slightly more strongly convergent to the apical angles from widest point.

Scutellum: as in the nominotypical subspecies.

Elytra 2.33–2.51 × as long as wide at base; as in the nominotypical subspecies but elytral apices less rounded sub-acute to acute; 2 nd and 3 rd costae less well defined and 4 th costae scarcely discernible.

Sclerites of underside and legs as in the nominotypical subspecies.

Aedeagus (Figs 75–76): very similar to that of the nominotypical subspecies but parameres more abruptly narrowing before the apical setae bearing part.

Ovipositor: same as the nominotypical subspecies.

Comments. Based on the slightly different aedeagus, colour and elytral characters this subspecies appears well defined, however, I have seen one female specimen from 200km S. of Carnarvon. W.A., Aug. 20 1983 (MPC) which in colour, development of elytral costae and form of elytral apices, is somewhat intermediate between the type series of the nominotypical subspecies and this subspecies. It is possible that there might be introgression between individuals of the two subspecies in this area.

Etymology. The name comes from the relatively more acute elytral apices seen in this subspecies when compared to the nominotypical subspecies.

Bionomics. Adults collected in August and early September on Acacia   species. Larval hosts unknown.