Buburra jeanae Reid & Beatson

Reid, C. A. M. & Beatson, M., 2013, A new genus and species of Bruchinae, with a key to the genera from Australia (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), Zootaxa 3599 (6), pp. 535-548: 541-544

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Buburra jeanae Reid & Beatson

sp. nov.

Buburra jeanae Reid & Beatson   , sp. nov.

Material examined. Holotype: 3 / VICTORIA, Mt Buffalo NP, top of Dixon’s Falls, c 1455m, 36: 46: 29 S 146: 47: 42 E, Phebalium squamulosum   ssp alpinum   flws, 15.xi. 2010, C. Reid ( AMS); Paratypes (9): 4 (23, 2Ƥ) same data as holotype ( AMS, MHNP); 13, 1Ƥ, same data as holotype except beating Phebalium squamulosum   ssp alpinum   flowers, 29.xi. 2011, ( AMS, ANIC); 13, 2Ƥ, ditto except sweeping Acacia alpina   with small seedpods (MVM, AMS).

Description. As for genus, plus the following details of colour and sculpture:

Colour ( Figs 2–6 View FIGURES 2 – 5 View FIGURES 6 – 9 ) variable irrespective of sex. Darkest form dark-reddish-brown except the following black to blackish-brown: antennomeres 1 –2, 6– 11, palpi, dorsum of head, disc and anterior of pronotum, prosternum, mesoventrite, metaventrite, anterior and mid coxae and femora (except bases), apical halves ventrites; and the following clear reddish-brown: venter head capsule, mandibles, hypomeral lobes, hind tibiae, ventrite basal halves; the elytra are variegated blackish- and reddish-brown. Palest form clear reddish-brown except the following black to blackish-brown: frons and base of clypeus, palpi, antennomeres 6–11 and apical half 5; prosternal process; and the following dark reddish-brown: anterior pronotum, elytral humeri and patch around scutellum, band across middle metaventrite, apical halves anterior and mid tibiae, sides pygidium, narrow apices ventrites. Elytra variegated clear and dark reddish-brown.

Surface sculpture ( Figs 2–6 View FIGURES 2 – 5 View FIGURES 6 – 9 ): frons and vertex dull, densely finely punctured and microreticulate, with close adpressed pale setae; with larger punctures and erect setae around inner margin of eye; clypeus microreticulate and finely punctured, with pale adpressed setae; labrum setose but shining; all antennomeres dull, microreticulate and densely setose, but 5–11 more so than 1–4; venter of head dull (punctured, setose and microreticulate) from between temples to mentum, smooth and shining (without sculpture) posterior to this; pronotum dull, densely finely punctured, microreticulate and setose with pale adpressed setae and scattered dark erect setae; prosternum and hypomeron with dense adpressed pale setae; scutellum with dense adpressed pale setae; elytra sculptured as pronotum except shining, without distinct microreticulation, and adpressed setae in small variegated patches of pale cream thicker stae or black thinner setae; pygidium sculptured as elytra, with dense adpressed pale setae, denser along midline; ventrites sculptured as dorsum except slightly smoother and shinier between punctures, dense adpressed pale setae; scattered erect dark setae present on legs; anterior and mid femora densely setose with adpressed pale setae; hind femora with variegated pale and dark adpressed setae, as elytra; anterior and mid tibiae with mixed pale and dark setae, more erect towards apices; hind tibia and tarsi with adpressed pale setae.

Distribution and biology. The species has been collected only in November, at a single site in the Victorian Alps, Mount Buffalo National Park. This is an isolated granite mountain range rising to 1723m. Within the park, Buburra jeanae   was only collected along the last 200m of walking track above Dixons Falls, in the dominant plateau vegetation classified as “subalpine woodland and open forest” (Anonymous 2001), although the site is complex as it includes streamside communities and rocky areas near the top of a steep slope ( Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 ). Buburra jeanae   was not found at other collecting sites in the park in November 2010 and November 2011: the first 1.2km of the Dixons Falls track, roadside 1km NE of The Horn, The Castle, Dingo Dell, The Monolith, Crystal Brook Falls, several stops on the entrance road.

Adults of B. jeanae   were first collected by beating flowering Phebalium squamulosum   ssp alpinum   ( Rutaceae   ), where they were probably feeding on pollen, but this plant does not have seedpods suitable for the larva. Bruchines were absent from another species of Rutaceae   flowering nearby, Boronia algida   . There were two species of woody Fabaceae   at the locality: Boissiaea foliosa   , which was flowering, and the dwarf shrub Acacia alpina   , which had young seedpods. There were no bruchines on Boissiaea   (only cryptocephalines), but three adults of Buburra   were collected by beating and sweeping the Acacia alpina   on the second visit and we suspect that A. alpina   is the larval host of this beetle.

Acacia alpina   is widespread in the Australian Alps, from the western border of the Australian Capital Territory to central Victoria ( Costermans 2009; Atlas of Living Australia 2012). Visits were made in November 2011 to nearby mountain peaks in the Victorian Alps, around Hotham Heights (where A. alpina   occurs) and Falls Creek ( A. alpina   absent), but the weather was poor (continuous rain or southerly wind) and no bruchines were collected. Two of the 10 specimens of B. jeanae   have partially deformed antennae (each with 2 segments fused on one antenna), and there is also asymmetry in the anastomosed elytral striae, suggesting a genetic problem in this limited and isolated population.

Etymology. Named for CAMR’s mother, in memory of a beautiful day on Mount Buffalo celebrating her birthday.


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle Perpignan


Australian National Insect Collection