Melanterius acaciae Lea, 1899

Pinzón-Navarro, Sara V., Jennings, Debbie & Oberprieler, Rolf G., 2017, Host associations of Melanterius Erichson (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Cleogonini), with a diagnosis and delimitation of the genus and description of five new species, Zootaxa 4298 (1), pp. 1-77 : 9

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Melanterius acaciae Lea, 1899


Melanterius acaciae Lea, 1899

( Figs. 1–2 View FIGURES 1 – 13 , 14–16 View FIGURES 14 – 19 )

Melanterius acaciae Lea, 1899: 221 ; Lea, 1915: 464

Melanterius caledonicus Lea, 1928: 129 ; Pullen et al., 2014: 227 (syn.)

This species was described from Forest Reefs in New South Wales and occurs widely in south-eastern Australia. It is also present in New Caledonia, from where it was described as M. caledonicus . It is shiny black with only a faint vestiture of fine setae, which is diagnostic on ventrites 3 and 4 but also (particularly in comparison with M. servulus and M. maculatus , which share the character of contiguous procoxae with M. acaciae ) on the pronotum and elytra. The penis of M. acaciae ( Figs. 15–16 View FIGURES 14 – 19 ) is also distinctive, the body being narrower and with an attenuate, narrowly truncate apex and a pair of small, indistinct apical endophallic sclerites and a larger, caliper-like sclerite at the base.

Lea (1899) originally recorded Acacia decurrens as a host of M. acaciae , but his type material of acaciae includes specimens of both M. acaciae and M. maculatus (E. C. Zimmerman, in litt.) and it is evident that this host record applies to M. maculatus instead. New (1979) reported collecting M. acaciae from A. dealbata and New (1983) rearing it from seeds of A. baileyana , but re-examination of the specimens showed them to be M. maculatus too, and host specificity tests confirmed that M. acaciae does not oviposit on A. baileyana and A. dealbata ( Donnelly, 1992) . It was first reared from its true main host, A. melanoxylon , in 1976 by M. van den Berg (van den Berg, 1982), and in 1980 T. Auld reared it from seeds of A. elongata ( Auld , 1983, 1989). In New Caledonia it was collected (and appears to develop) on A. simplex (recorded on the labels as A. laurifolia ), a perennial climber native to the western Pacific region. The species was released against A. melanoxylon in 1986 in South Africa ( Donnelly , 1992; Dennill et al., 1999), where it established slowly but now controls A. melanoxylon very successfully ( Dennill et al. 1999; Impson et al., 2011). In our study we collected M. acaciae from A. glaucocarpa as well, possibly an additional host ( Tables 1, 2). The single specimen found on A. baileyana at Kyeamba ( Table 1) is regarded as a concincidental association ( Table 2). A series of five specimens in the ANIC, collected in 1986 by C. Reid at Kioloa in New South Wales on A. longifolia , and seemingly together with a similar series of M. ventralis , is not regarded as representing a host record.


Australian National Insect Collection














Melanterius acaciae Lea, 1899

Pinzón-Navarro, Sara V., Jennings, Debbie & Oberprieler, Rolf G. 2017

Melanterius caledonicus

Pullen 2014: 227
Lea 1928: 129

Melanterius acaciae

Lea 1915: 464
Lea 1899: 221