Melobasis brevimaculata, Levey, 2018, 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: 12-14

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Melobasis brevimaculata

sp. n.

M. brevimaculata   sp. n.

(Figs 9, 53–54, 110–111, 153)

Type locality: Queensland, Carnarvon Range   .

Type specimens examined. Holotype ♂ ( AMSA) Carnarvon Rge., Dec. 1938 [date crossed through], Q., N. Geary, 9.1.39   ./ HOLOTYPE Melobasis brevimaculata   sp. n. B. Levey 2012. Paratypes as follows [all bearing label PARATYPE Melobasis brevimaculata   sp. n. B. Levey 2012]: Queensland   : 2♂ 2♀ ( BLC) C. Queensland   ,

Edungalba, Jan. & Nov. 1945, Brigalow, E.E. Adams; 1♀ ( GHNC) AUSTRALIA, C.Q., Edungalba , Jan. 1960   , E.E. Adams / On Acacia harpophylla “ Brigalow   ”; 1♀ ( WAMA) Edungalba / 72-571/ du Boulay Coll.; 1♀ ( WAMA) Edungalba / 72-572/ du Boulay Coll.; 1♀ ( ASC) Edungalba; 1♂ ( IRSNB) Edungalba, Coll. Deuquet; 1♀ ( ANIC) Edungalba , Central Q., Jan.1960 (E.E.A)   / C.G. L. Gooding Collection donated to A.N.I.C. 1979; 1♂ 1♀ ( ANIC) Edungalba , Central Q., Dec. 1958 (E.E.A)   / C.G. L. Gooding Collection donated to A.N.I.C. 1979; 1♀ ( CLBC) Australia :, Separation, Duaringa, II.1989   , A.W. Smith; 1♀ ( TMSHC) 55 km W. of Emerald , Qld., T.M. Hanlon and/ M. Powell, reared from Acacia harpophylla   / Coll. 16 Jan. 2000   , emerged late January 2003.

Other specimens examined: Queensland:   1♀ (BMNH) Chinchilla [lacking head, pronotum & one elytron]. 1♀ ( QMA) Dodd   .

Diagnosis. General diagnosis: length 11.1–13.6 mm; head and pronotum brownish bronze with extensive reddish purple, reddish violet and violet reflections; scutellum coppery usually with a strong green reflection; elytra deep purple to blackish lilac with the following brownish copper markings: suture in basal fifth (sometimes poorly indicated); a short vitta just internal of the humeral callosity, narrowly continued laterally along the basal margin and sometimes along the lateral margin to join a broad transverse median fasciae extending from on the 1 st costa to the lateral edge, where it is produced baseward; an approximately ovate pre-apical macula extending laterally from the outer margin of the 1 st costa to the poorly indicated 4 th costa; underside blackish green, blackish lilac sometimes with reddish purple reflections, laterally densely clothed with long silvery pubescence, central part of the prosternum, prosternal process, mesosternum, central parts of metaventrite and abdominal ventrites glabrous.

Head (Fig. 153): very densely to contiguously punctate with small strong ovate to ellipsoidal punctures which are arranged in dorso-ventrally orientated linear series over most of the vertex and frontoclypeus, punctures sometimes coalescent; densely clothed with long silvery pubescence which partly conceals the underlying punctation; spaces between the punctures shiny; clypeal excision shallow U- to slightly V-shaped, with a very narrow reticulate impunctate border; clypeal peaks poorly indicated, the angle very obtuse; vertex flat, slightly more than half width of head across eyes when viewed from above; eyes very strongly convex.

Antenna: weakly serrate from segment 4–10, segments 4–7 slightly petiolate, the expanded part of segments weakly triangular, segment 4–7 about 2–3× as long as wide at widest point, segments 8–10 slightly progressively shorter.

Pronotum: 1.40–1.59× as wide at base as long in midline; anterior margin weakly bisinuate with a weakly developed broad median lobe, with a narrow poorly developed beaded margin only present in the lateral two-thirds; posterior margin moderately strongly biarcuate; widest near mid-length; lateral margins weakly rectilinearly diverging from basal angles to widest point (sometimes slightly sinuate just anterior to the basal angles), before weakly slightly curvilinearly converging to apical angles; basal angles right angled; slightly narrower at base than elytra at base; lateral carina sharp very well defined, almost straight, about two-thirds to three-quarters complete; punctation in central quarter to third sparsely punctate with round, small, weak punctures, sometimes pin-prick type near mid-line, sometimes with a partly developed, narrow, impunctate median line; punctation in lateral twothirds to three-quarters dense to very dense, the punctures larger, stronger, transversely elliptical next to the centralthird, becoming round towards the lateral margin; spaces between punctures shiny without obvious miroreticulation; densely clothed with long silvery pubescence in lateral two-thirds, glabrous or more sparsely pubescent on central-third.

Scutellum: quadrate to trapezoid, about one-ninth to one-twelth width of elytra at base; rather shiny, very weakly microreticulate.

Elytra: 2.27–2.46 × as long as wide at base; basal margin moderately strongly biarcuate to biangulate, slightly widening from base over the humeral callosities thence parallel sided to a little beyond mid-length, before narrowing to the rather broadly rounded apices; lateral margins in apical half to third and apices with moderately coarse acute serrations; sutural margins slightly raised in apical two-thirds; each elytron with indications of two or three costae, only the 1 st costa well defined, broader and more strongly raised than the other two, extending almost from the base to apical sixth; subsutural depression moderately densely to densely punctate with very small round punctures, remainder of elytra except for the costae densely to very densely punctate with much larger, stronger round punctures, the punctures becoming coalescent and forming short transverse series close to the lateral margin in apical half; strongly microreticulate between the punctures.

Hypomeron: very densely punctate with medium sized, very shallow, round punctures, which in some specimens become coalescent to form rugae, largely obscured by long, dense silvery pubescence.

Prosternum: with a broad flat bead at the anterior margin; the anterior margin at the same level as the area behind, sometimes with slightly indicated tubercule on either side in lateral quarter; prosternal process slightly, to moderately strongly widening distally, sparsely to very sparsely punctate with tiny weak pin-prick punctures, glabrous.

Mesanepisternum: very densely punctate with small round shallow and lunate punctures, partly obscured by long silvery pubescence.

Central part of metaventrite, inner part of metacoxa glabrous, sparsely punctate with small weak mostly pinprick punctures; lateral parts punctate with mostly coalescent punctures forming rugae, largely obscured by long dense silvery pubescence; abdominal ventrites glabrous and sparsely, weakly punctate with very small mostly lunate punctures in central- third, laterally with coalescent punctures forming elongate grooves more or less parallel to the lateral margins, partly obscured by long silvery pubescence.

Apical ventrite (Figs 110–111): lunate punctures coalescing to form grooves parallel to the lateral margin; excision in ♂ broad, W shaped, with a narrow bisinuate flange produced at the centre as a truncated lobe, with well developed, long, parallel lateral spines (Fig. 110); ♀ narrow, deep U-shaped, the flange poorly developed, the lateral spines well developed parallel to slightly divergent (Fig. 111).

Fore tibia: ♂ with a medium sized posteriorly facing tooth on ventral face at apex, and a slightly developed setal brush on the anterior face at apex; ♀ both structures absent.

Mid tibia: ♂ very slightly curved without serrations or a setae filled depression on the ventral face; ♀ almost straight.

Aedeagus (Figs 53–54): parameres only slightly 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: elongate.

Comments. This species is most similar to the sympatric M. v. vertebralis   differing in the less developed posteriorly facing tooth and less developed setal brush at apex of the fore tibia in ♂, slightly different elytral markings, and shorter and broader form.

Etymology. The name comes from the reduced brownish copper area of the elytra in comparison to that of M. v. vertebralis   .

Bionomics. Adults have been collected in November and January on Acacia harpophylla   . Larval host Acacia harpophylla   .


Albany Museum


Northern Arizona University


Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique


Australian National Insect Collection