Melobasis vertebralis subsp. vertebralis, vertebralis Carter

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 : 46-48

publication ID

publication LSID


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Melobasis vertebralis subsp. vertebralis


M. vertebralis vertebralis Carter

(Figs 10–11, 59–60, 114–115, 155)

Melobasis vertebralis Carter 1923b:83 ; 1929c:286; Obenberger 1930:436; Turner & Hawkeswood 1994:101; 1996:84; 1997a:258; 1997b;262; Volkovitsh & Hawkeswood 1995:12; Turner 2001:61; Hawkeswood 2011:16; Bellamy 2002c:166; 2008:1335. Bílý & Volkovitsh 2005:16. Bellamy et al. 2013:61.

Type locality: Queensland, Duaringa.

Type specimens examined. Carter in his original description says there were six specimens (2♂, 4♀) from Duaringa (Australian Museum) and Ipswich (Macleay Museum) and three specimens in the Bryant collection, two from Baan-Baa and one from Brisbane. Carter says the types are in the Australian Museum. I have therefore designated a male from Duaringa in ( AMSA) as the Lectotype. I consider other specimens from Duaringa and Ipswich I have seen to be paralectotypes, as both localities are listed in the original description as the “Hab.” of the species, which Carter seems to use to indicate the localities of the specimens used in making his descriptions. The specimens from Baan-Baa now in ( BMNH) I have made paratypes of M. vertebralis cuneata ssp. n.

Lectotype, here designated, ♂ ( AMSA), Duaringa Queensland / Type ♂ H.J.C. / K32142 View Materials / Melobasis vertebralis Carter id. by H.J. Carter / HOLOTYPE. Paralectotypes as follows: 1♀ ( AMSA), K32142 View Materials / Duaringa Queensland, Co-Type ♀ H.J.C/ Paratype; 1♀ ( AMSA) K32142 View Materials / Type ♀ / H.J.C./ Holotype; 1♀ ( NMVA), Duaringa Queensland / M. vertebralis Carter Id. by H.J. Carter / Co-Type ♀ H.J.C. / Cotype; 1♂ ( ANIC), Queensland / Ipswich Queensland / CoType ♂ H.J.C. / Melobasis vertebralis Carter Id. by H.J. Carter; 1♀ ( ANIC), Queensland / Ipswich / Co-Type ♀ / H.J.C .

Other specimens examined. Queensland: 3♂, 2♀ (TMSHC) 6km S.W. of Bajool, T.M.S. Hanlon , ex. dead standing Acacia salicina , coll. 13 March 1999, emerged Dec. 1999, Jan. 2000, Mar. 2001 and Jan. 2006; 1♀ ( BMNH) Brisbane , 30.1.0 9, G.E. Bryant ; 1♀ ( QMA) Carnarvon N.P. Mt. Moffat Sect., Mt. Moffat Rd. dry creek, 25?03′52′′S 148?01′00′′ E, 2.xii.1997, malaise ; 1♂, 1♀ ( ZMHB) Dawson district , Barnard coll. ; 1♂ ( ANIC) Edungalba, Seperation , Jan 1977, A. Smith, on wattle, K.& E. Carnaby coll. ; 1♀ ( ANIC) Fraser Island, 19km s.S,W. Indian Head , 25?10′S 153?17′E, 11-14.x.1978, D.C.F. Rentz & J. Balderson ; 1♂ ( TMSHC) Gogango Range, 33 Km E. of Duaringa, T.M.S. Hanlon , 11 Dec. 1999, on narrow leaf Acacia ; 1♂ ( TMSHC) 72 km S. of Jericho , ex dead standing Acacia sparsiflora , coll 28 Aug. 1999, emerged 6 Nov. 1999 ; 1♂ ( QMA) Kingston, 23.xii.1963, R.A. McLachlan; 1 unsexed ( DAS) Lawes , 8.1.1938, N.C. Lloyd ; 1♀ ( QMA) 2km E. of Leyburn , 23 Jan. 1986, D.K. Yeates ; 1♂ ( QMA) Mt. Moffat N.P., Kenniff’s Lookout , 13 Dec. 1987, D.K. Yeates ; 1♂, 3♀ ( MVMA) Rockhampton, H.W. Brown, F.E. Wilson coll. ; 2♂, 6♀ ( IRSNB, BLC) Rockhampton , xii.1948,ec coll C. Deuquet ; 1♀ ( ANIC) Townsville, 1970, C. Brewen .

Diagnosis. General diagnosis: length 13.0 – 13.7 mm; head and pronotum dark bronze, with very extensive reddish purple, reddish violet and violet reflections, in ♂ often with a strong coppery or green reflection in the lower half; scutellum dull coppery sometimes with a green reflection; elytra greenish bronze or blackish lilac between the suture and the 1st costa, usually with a poorly defined greenish copper sutural vitta, confined to the sutural boss; lateral to the 1st costae largely brownish copper, except for the epipleura in apical three-quarters, lateral margin in apical quarter, and apices, which are blackish lilac; 1st costa and sometimes parts of the 2 nd costa reddish violet or blackish lilac; underside blackish green, sometimes with extensive reddish violet reflections especially on the abdomen.

Head (Fig. 155): ♂ contiguously punctate, ♀ very densely punctate, with small, strong, ovate to ellipsoidal punctures, which are arranged in dorso-ventrally orientated linear series on the lower half, especially in the ♀; punctures sometimes coalescent; very densely clothed with long silvery pubescence, which largely conceals the underlying punctation in the ♂; spaces between the punctures shiny; clypeal excision shallow, U-shaped, with a narrow, to fairly broad, microreticulate, impunctate border; clypeal peaks obtuse, the clypeal angle absent or poorly developed; vertex flat, slightly more than half width of head across eyes when viewed from above; eyes very strongly convex.

Antenna: ♂ weakly enlarged from segments 3–10, segments slightly petiolate, the expanded part of segments weakly triangular, sometimes more apical segments sub-rectangular; ♀ weakly enlarged from segments 4–10, the expanded part of segments weakly triangular; segments 4–7 about 2–3× as long as wide at widest point, segments 8–10 slightly progressively shorter.

Pronotum: 1.38–1.48× as wide at base as long in midline; anterior margin weakly bisinuate, with a weakly developed, broad median lobe, which is sub-truncate in some specimens, with a narrow, poorly defined, beaded margin, only present in the lateral two-thirds; posterior margin moderately strongly biarcuate; widest near midlength or at posterior angles; lateral margins very weakly, rectilinearly, diverging from basal angles to widest point, or nearly parallel sided to widest point (sometimes very slightly sinuate just anterior to the basal angles), before weakly slightly curvilinearly converging to apical angles; basal angles right angled to slightly acute; very slightly narrower at base than elytra at base; lateral carina sharp, very well defined, almost straight, about two-thirds complete; punctation in central-quarter to central-third sparse, with round, small, weak punctures, sometimes with pin-prick type near mid-line; punctation in lateral two-thirds to three-quarters dense to very dense, the punctures larger, stronger, sometimes transversely elliptical next to the central-third, becoming round towards the lateral margin; sometimes with a partly developed, narrow, impunctate, midline; spaces between punctures shiny without obvious miroreticulation; moderately densely clothed with long silvery pubescence in lateral two-thirds, glabrous or more sparsely pubescent in central-third.

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

Elytra: 2.41–2.73× 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 sub-acute, or rather broadly rounded, apices; lateral margins in apical third to apical quarter 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 punctate, with very small round punctures, remainder of elytra, except for the costae, densely to very densely punctate, with much larger, stronger, round to transverse, elliptical punctures, the punctures becoming coalescent, and forming short transverse series close to the lateral margin, in apical half; strongly microreticulate between the punctures, lateral to the 1st costa.

Hypomeron: very densely to contiguously punctate, with medium sized, shallow, round punctures, 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 widening distally, sparsely to very sparsely punctate, with mostly tiny, weak, pin-prick punctures, glabrous.

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

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

Apical ventrite (Figs 114–115): lunate punctures coalescing to form grooves parallel to the lateral margin; excision in ♂ broad, W shaped, with a moderatel broad bisinuate flange, with well developed, long, parallel lateral spines (Fig. 114); ♀ narrow, deep U-shaped, the flange poorly developed, the lateral spines well developed, parallel to slightly divergent (Fig. 115).

Fore tibia: ♂ with a large posteriorly facing tooth on ventral face, at apex, and a well developed setal brush on the anterior face, at apex; ♀ tooth absent and setal brush less developed.

Mid tibia: ♂ very slightly curved with a few serrations at apex; ♀ almost straight.

Aedeagus (Figs 59–60): moderately elongate, the parameres moderately strongly narrowing from the basal piece to the apical setae bearing parts, apex of median lobe rounded.

Comments. This species is very similar to the sympatric M. brevimaculata sp. n., differing from it in the larger posteriorly facing tooth, and better developed setal brush at the apex of the fore tibia, the more extensive coppery marking of the lateral half of the elytra, and more elongate habitus. Also see comments under M. v. cuneata ssp. n.

Bionomics. Adults have been collected in December and January on Acacia spp. Larval hosts Acacia salicina , A. sparsiflora , A. leiocalyx .


Albany Museum


Australian National Insect Collection


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada


Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique














Melobasis vertebralis subsp. vertebralis

Levey, Brian 2018

Melobasis vertebralis

Bellamy, C. L. & Williams, G. A. & Hasenpusch, J. & Sundholm, A. 2013: 61
Hawkeswood, T. J. 2011: 16
Bily, S. & Volkovitsh, M. G. 2005: 16
Bellamy, C. L. 2002: 166
Turner, J. R. 2001: 61
Volkovitsh, M. G. & Hawkeswood, T. J. 1995: 12
Turner, J. R. & Hawkeswood, T. J. 1994: 101
Obenberger, J. 1930: 436
Carter, H. J. 1923: 83