Melobasis soror subsp. soror, soror 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 : 43-44

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Melobasis soror subsp. soror


M. soror soror Blackburn

(Figs 36, 94–95, 143–144, 167)

Melobasis soror Blackburn 1887:237 ; Kerremans 1892:105; 1903:160; Carter 1923:81; 1929:285; Obenberger 1930:432; Bellamy 2002:155; 2008:1325. Stat. rev. (not syn. of M. lathami (Laporte & Gory) .

Type locality: Australia, South Australia ?

Type specimens examined. Melobasis soror Blackburn Lectotype ♀ (BMNH) (here designated) 2088 [Blackburn’s notebook in BMNH says from Rothe]/ Type/ Blackburn Coll. 1910-236 / Melobasis soror Blackb. / Lectotype Melobasis soror Blackburn B. Levey det.; Paralectotypes: 1♀ (SAMA) Australia Blackb’s Coll./ Melobasis soror Blackb. Co-type/ M. soror Blkb. Id by H.J. Carter; 1♀ (SAMA) 2088/ Australia Blackb’s. Coll./ soror Blackb. ; 1♀ (SAMA) 2088/ Australia Blackb’s. Coll.

Other specimens examined. Western Australia: Beverley; Kalgoorlie; Paynes Find; Wubin, 60 km N.E.; Narndee Homestead, 5 km W.; South Australia: Gawler (labelled as Gowlerstown); Nooriootpa; Monarto; Kimba, 27 km E.; Whyalla, 14 km S. Victoria: Gypsum. Specimens in AMSA, ANIC, BMNH, MMSA, MPC, MVMA, NMPC, SAMA, TMSHC, ZMHB.

Diagnosis. General diagnosis: length 8.3–13.3 mm; upperside largely greenish to brownish bronze, with the elytral apices, and lateral margins in apical half, sometimes with violet or reddish violet reflections; underside largely blackish bronze, sometimes with a reddish violet reflection in places; anterior face of fore femora, tibia and tarsi green or bluish green.

Head (Fig. 167): contiguously punctate, with very small round strong punctures, which are stronger and denser in ♂; densely (♀) to very densely clothed (♂), with long silvery pubescence, which partly obscures the punctation; rims of the punctures shiny; clypeal excision very shallowly excised, with a fairly broad, complete, impunctate, shiny or microreticulate border; clypeal peaks right angled, with slightly defined clypeal angles; vertex flat, half width of head across eyes when viewed from above; eyes very strongly convex.

Antenna: not sexually dimorphic; segment 3, or 3 and 4 triangularly expanded, segments 4–11, or 5–11 with expansion almost quadrate; segment 3 slightly triangularly expanded or subcylindrical, slightly widening distally, about 1.5–2.5 × as long as wide at its widest point.

Pronotum: 1.32–1.56 × as wide at base as long in midline; anterior margin strongly bisinuate, with a moderately well developed, broad, median lobe, rarely very truncated, and scarcely produced forward; with a narrow but well defined beaded margin; posterior margin weakly biarcuate; widest at basal third, mid-length or apical third; lateral margins almost rectilinearly diverging from basal angle to widest point (sometimes with a sinuation just anterior of the basal angles), before moderately strongly converging to apical angles; basal angles acute; as wide as, or very slightly narrower at base than elytra at base; lateral carina almost straight about twothirds to three-quarters complete; punctation in central fifth moderately dense, consisting of small round to slightly transversely elliptical punctures; punctation lateral to this area dense, consisting of strongly transverse elliptical punctures, arranged in slightly sinuate series, closer to the lateral margin becoming round; without an impunctate median line; sparsely to moderately densely clothed, with moderately long silvery pubescence, in lateral quarter.

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

Elytra 2.49–2.78 as long as wide at base; basal margin very weakly biangulate; slightly widening from the base over the humeral callosities, thence parallel sided to slightly widening to mid-length, before narrowing to the rounded or sub-acute apices; lateral margins in apical half to apical third, and apices, with moderately coarse acute serrations; sutural margins slightly raised in apical two-thirds; each elytron with two approximately equidistant costae and traces of a third; 1st costa extending from basal sixth almost to apex; 2 nd costa extending from basal quarter to apical sixth, sometimes almost fusing with 1st costa at apical sixth; 3 rd and sometimes 2 nd costa very poorly defined; 1 st costa almost impunctate; subsutural depession and area between 1 st and 2 nd costae sparsely punctate, with very small round and pin-prick punctures; lateral to the 2 nd costa moderately densely punctate, with small mostly elliptical punctures, which become larger and denser towards the lateral margins, where they form contiguous transverse series; weakly microreticulate.

Hypomeron: very densely to contiguously punctate, with small, shallow,`mostly round punctures, with moderately dense moderately long 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 widening distally, sparsely punctate, with small, weak, round and pin-prick punctures, glabrous or with very sparse pubescence.

Mesanepisternum: shiny or weakly microreticulate, with shallow round seate bearing punctures, mostly concentrated in the anterior half.

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

Apical ventrite (Figs 143–144): lunate punctures coalescing near the lateral margin but not forming grooves; excision in ♂ broad, W shaped, with a moderately broad curved, subtruncate flange at the centre, with rather short, well developed, slightly incurved, lateral spines (Fig. 143); ♀ narrower, U-shaped, with a moderately broad flange for its entire width, the lateral spines well developed, slightly divergent (Fig. 144).

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

Mid tibia: ♂ rather strongly curved, with an elongate depression along the ventral face; ♀ almost straight, without a depression.

Aedeagus (Figs 94–95): parameres strongly but not abruptly constricted before the apical setae bearing part; apical setae bearing parts scarcely widened, about one third the total length of the parameres, apical half weakly chitinised, with numerous, fairly long, slightly curved, spine-like setae, in addition to the usual long fine setae; median lobe truncate at the tip.

Ovipositor: not examined.

Comments. Specimens of this subspecies look very like small specimens of M. nervosa which might be the most closely related species. It is easily distinguished from this species by the form of the aedeagus. From M. soror basicostata ssp. n. males differ in the shorter apical setae bearing part of the parameres, relative to the basal part (compare Figs 92 & 94) and the wider flange of the apical sternite in male (compare Figs 143 & 145).

Bionomics. Adults collected from September to November on Acacia spp., Cassia sp. and Senna sp. Larval hosts unknown.














Melobasis soror subsp. soror

Levey, Brian 2018

Melobasis soror Blackburn 1887 :237

Bellamy, C. L. 2002: 155
Obenberger, J. 1930: 432
Carter, H. J. 1923: 81
Kerremans, C. 1892: 105
Blackburn, T. 1887: 237