Melittommatinae, Wheeler, 1986

Lawrence, John F., 2020, The Australian Lymexylidae (Coleoptera: Tenerionoidea) with one new genus and two genera new to Australia, Zootaxa 4895 (2), pp. 211-238 : 213

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.4895.2.3

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Melittommatinae, Wheeler, 1986


Melittommatinae, Wheeler, 1986

The subfamily Melittommatinae was proposed by Wheeler (1986) for those members of the family Lymexylidae in which the elytra completely conceal the abdomen or expose at most two abdominal terga, and the larvae have a heavily sclerotised, truncate tergite IX. The largest genus in this group is Melittomma , with about 20 species primarily in tropical and subtropical regions of both Western and Eastern Hemispheres. Other currently recognised genera include Melittommopsis Lane (1955) , with at least four species from South America, the monotypic Protomelittomma Wheeler (1986) from the Seychelles and Madagascar and the Australian Australymexylon Wheeler (1986) . The remaining fossil species, Ponomarenkylon alexandri Kirejtshuk (2008) , an apparent Melittommatine from Baltic amber differ from other lymexylids in having: 1) very large eyes, (2) unusually short prothorax 3) filiform antennae and 4) the apparent connation of the first three abdominal ventrites (straight margins separating the first three ventrites and curved margins separating 3 from 4 and 4 from 5). Only a re-examination of the holotype will support or refute the author’s hypothesis.

More than 20 years ago, the genus, Alcestoma Fairmaire (1895) was transferred to Lymexylidae from Melandryidae in a supplement to a paper dealing with a portion of the beetle fauna of the Prioksko-Terrasny Biosphere Reserve in the Moscow Region, Russia ( Nikitsky et al. 1998). Fortunately, Dr. Nikitsky photographed the types in his possession and sent me a habitus figure plus several detailed images. Based on these images, there is little doubt that this species is congeneric with Melittomma insulare Fairmaire (1893) from the Seychelles, which was made the type species of Protomelittomma Wheeler (1986) .











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