Melobasis breviserrata, 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: 14-16

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Melobasis breviserrata

sp. n.

M. breviserrata   sp. n.

(Figs 8, 51–52, 108–109, 152, 186, 200–201)

Type locality: Western Australia, Dedari   .

Type specimens examined. Holotype ♂ ( AMSA) Dedari, W. Aust. H.W. Brown   / HOLOTYPE Melobasis breviserrata   sp. n. B. Levey 2012. Paratypes as follows: Western Australia   : 2♀ ( AMSA) same data as Holotype   ; 1♀ ( BMNH) H. Brown , Southern Cross, W. A. / B.M. 1940-161   ; 1♀ ( ANIC) Marloo Stn. Wurarga W.A. 1931– 1941, A. Goerling   ; 4♂, 4♀ ( IRSNB, BLC) Burracoppin W.A. 10.38 ex coll. C. Deuquet   ; 1♀ ( NMWC) W. Australia: Buntine Nature Reserve, 16 km N. of Wubin , 29 o 58 / 116 o 34 /, 25.ix.2012, on Acacia   sp./ B. Levey, NMW.Z. 2012.071   .

Other specimens examined. Western Australia   : 1♂ 3♀ (TMSHC) Burracoppin, 5.10.38, on Acacia, H.W. Brown   ; 1♂ ( WAMA) Mukinbudin, 12.x.1980, R.P. McMillan   .

Diagnosis. General diagnosis: length 11.4–14.4 mm; head in ♂ with vertex between eyes and fronto clypeus coppery, vertex above eyes greenish bronze; in ♀ lower half of vertex and fronto clypeus brownish bronze, upper half of vertex blackish- to greenish bronze; pronotum blackish bronze sometimes with slight reddish purple reflections; elytra deep lilac, with the following gold to greenish gold markings: a narrow sutural vitta in the basal quarter; a broad slightly sinuate humeral vitta just internal of the humeral callosity, the same length as the sutural vitta; a pair of elongate approximately elliptical median maculae, one overlapping and external to the 1 st costa, one slightly closer to the base next to the lateral margin; an elongate ovate pre-apical macula external of the 1 st costa; underside greenish to brownish bronze, densely clothed with long silvery pubescence except for the central part of the prosternum, prosternal process, mesosternum, central parts of metaventrite and abdominal ventrites, which are glabrous.

Head (Fig. 152): very densely to contiguously punctate with small strong ovate punctures which are arranged in dorso-ventrally orientated linear series over most of the vertex and frontoclypeus; moderately densely clothed with long silvery pubescence; ridges between the punctures shiny; clypeal excision shallow U- or V-shaped with a fairly broad impunctate shiny border; clypeal peaks slightly obtuse to right angled; vertex flat, slightly more than half width of head across eyes when viewed from above; eyes very strongly convex.

Antenna: slightly sexually dimorphic; in ♂ serrate from segment 3–10, segments 3-4 with the expanded part approximately triangular, segments 5–10 slightly progressively shorter, with the expanded part almost quadrate, slightly petiolate at base; in ♀ serrate from segment 4–10, all segments with expanded part more or less triangular and less obviously petiolate.

Pronotum: 1.43–1.52× as wide at base as long in midline; anterior margin moderately strongly bisinuate with a well developed broad median lobe, with a narrow beaded margin; posterior margin weakly biarcuate; widest near mid-length; lateral margins very weakly rectilinearly diverging from basal angles to widest point, sometimes nearly parallel sided in basal half, before weakly curvilinearly converging to apical angles; basal angles acute; as wide as, or very slightly narrower at base as elytra at base; lateral carina very slightly sinuate, about half to two-thirds complete; punctation in central third sparsely to moderately densely punctate with small, weak, round, punctures; sometimes with an impunctate median line; punctation in lateral two-thirds dense, the punctures larger and stronger, transversely elliptical next to the central-third, becoming round towards the lateral margin; moderately densely clothed with moderately long silvery pubescence in lateral quarter.

Scutellum: approximately quadrate to trapezoid, about one-thirteenth width of elytra at base.

Elytra: 2.49–2.72 as long as wide at base; basal margin weakly biarcuate to biangulate, slightly widening from 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 fifth and apices with rather weak sub-acute serrations; sutural margins slightly raised in apical half; each elytron with indications of 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 area sparsely to moderately densely punctate with tiny, weak, round, or pin-prick punctures; remainder of elytra except for the costae densely to very densely punctate with small stronger transversely elliptical punctures, which often form tranverse series near the lateral margin; moderately strongly microreticulate.

Hypomeron: very densely punctate with small round punctures partly obscured by dense long silvery pubescence.

Prosternum: with a narrow bead at the anterior margin; the anterior margin at the same level as the area behind; prosternal process parallel sided to very slightly widening distally, sparsely to very sparsely punctate with small weak round and pin-prick punctures, glabrous (Fig. 186).

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

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

Apical ventrite (Figs 108–109): lunate punctures coalescing to form grooves parallel to the lateral margin; excision in ♂ broad, W shaped, with the flange produced at the centre, with well developed parallel lateral spines (Fig. 108); ♀ narrow, deep U-shaped, the flange slightly developed, the lateral spines well developed, parallel (Fig. 109).

Fore tibia: ♂ very slightly curved with a large posteriorly facing tooth on ventral face at apex, and a well developed setal brush on the anterior face at apex (Figs 200–201); ♀ tooth absent and setal brush less developed.

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

Aedeagus (Figs 51–52): parameres 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 species is likely to be confused with M. fortipunctata   sp. n. which has similar elytral markings and similar overall appearance. In addition to the differences mentioned in the key, the parameres of the aedeagus are more gradually widened towards the base, the apical setae bearing part is relatively broader, and the fore tibia has a large backwardly directed tooth at the apex, which is absent in M. fortipunctata   sp. n..

Etymology. The name comes from the reduced extent of the serrations of the lateral margins of the elytra in comparison to M. fortipunctata   sp. n.

Bionomics. Adults have been collected from late September to mid October on Acacia   spp. Larval hosts unknown.


Albany Museum


Australian National Insect Collection


Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique


National Museum of Wales