Buprestidae of South Australia
( Jewel beetles )
by Peter J. Lang
Castiarina erythroptera   (Boisduval, 1835)
subfamily  Buprestinae » tribe  Stigmoderini » subtribe  Stigmoderina
Castiarina  species group: sexplagiata
Castiarina erythroptera   Adult images
Castiarina erythroptera, PL0785, on Myoporum platycarpum ssp. platycarpum, EP Castiarina erythroptera, PL0785, on Myoporum platycarpum ssp. platycarpum, EP Castiarina erythroptera, PL0785, on Myoporum platycarpum ssp. platycarpum, EP Castiarina erythroptera, PL0785, on Myoporum platycarpum ssp. platycarpum, EP Castiarina erythroptera, PL0785E, male, EP, 9.6 × 3.6 mm Castiarina erythroptera, PL0785, on Myoporum platycarpum ssp. platycarpum, EP Castiarina erythroptera, PL0785, on Myoporum platycarpum ssp. platycarpum, EP Castiarina erythroptera, PL0785, on Myoporum platycarpum ssp. platycarpum, EP Castiarina erythroptera, PL0785, on Myoporum platycarpum ssp. platycarpum, EP Castiarina erythroptera, PL0785, on Myoporum platycarpum ssp. platycarpum, EP Castiarina erythroptera, PL0785, on Myoporum platycarpum ssp. platycarpum, EP Castiarina erythroptera, adult host plant, host Myoporum platycarpum showing Lycid mimicry model Porrostoma rhipidium (PL2708A), EP
Actual
size¹:
10.2 mm
×
3.7 mm
Measurements (mm)
malefemale
L19.8
9.5 – 10.1
n = 610.6
9.5 – 11.95
n = 6
L29.5
9.1 – 9.8
n = 310.0
9.6 – 10.35
n = 3
W3.5
3.35 – 3.6
n = 63.9
3.3 – 4.45
n = 6
Legend  L1length from clypeus/frons to elytral apex (mean, range, sample size)
L2length from anterior of edge of eyes to elytral apex
Wmaximum width with elytra fully closed
Castiarina erythroptera  Distinctive features

Very different to other members of the C. sexplagiata group but has the characteristic highly reduced tarsal pads and the triangular aedeagus. Mostly black, often with some weak blue reflections, with the elytra strongly ribbed and orange-brown except for a black posterior sutural strip and apex.

Notes

Barker {2006a} notes that this was the first Lycid-mimicking species of Castiarina to be described. The model appears to be the very distasteful beetle Porrostoma rhipidium (family Lycidae) which is quite commonly seen in SA on the same whitish nectar-rich flowers that are visited by various Castiarina species. It is illustrated here in the last image above.

The black areas in the posterior three-quarters of the elytra of C. erythroptera resemble the middle and protruding ends of the underlying black wings and abdomen which are exposed by the slightly spreading elytra in the Lycid model. The resemblance to the model is also enhanced by the angling of the thorax and more prominent ribbing of the elytra which are deviations from the standard form in the C. sexplagiata group.

As Buprestids generally contain levels of the bitter compound buprestin, at least some degree of Mulleran mimicry would be operating here, rather than this being a simple case of Batesian mimcry by a benign mimic. Other apparent Lycid mimics amongst SA Castiarina species are: C. amplipennis, C. parallelipennis, C. cf. parallelipennis and C. rufipennis. These represent at least three other Castiarina species groups in which the same syndrome of traits has appeared, but is superimposed on very different underlying morphologies.

Distribution
SA Regions¹:  EPMU
Australian States:  WASAVICNSWQLD
Southern South Australia distribution
LegendP.J.Lang collection vouchered records
other private collection or museum specimens, or sightings
Satellite map
Terrain map
Enlarge map
Adult activity records for Castiarina erythroptera  (total of 51 beetles)
1 4 4 36
2 1
2
1
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Legend
live emerged adults, count > median value of 2 per quarter month
live emerged adults, count <= median value of 2
live non-emerged adults only, for that quarter month
12
number of active beetles for that quarter month
Adult host plants
beetles sites SA regions¹ family position on host plant
Myoporum platycarpum ssp. perbellum132EPS
Myoporum platycarpum ssp. platycarpum133EP, MUS
Myoporum platycarpum85EP, MUS
Eucalyptus gracilis41MUM
Senna sp.21MUF
Eucalyptus phenax ssp. phenax21EPM
Bursaria spinosa ssp. lasiophylla11MUP1
Eremophila scoparia11MUS
Grevillea pterosperma11EPP2
Legendbeetlescount of beetles collected from, or sighted on, host plant taxon
sitescount of major sites (unique 10 km grid cells +/- some distinct approximate localities)
Plant family
Code beetles % host plant taxa
S Scrophulariaceae 35 78% 4
M Myrtaceae 6 13% 2
F Fabaceae 2 4% 1
P1 Pittosporaceae 1 2% 1
P2 Proteaceae 1 2% 1
Position on adult host
positionbeetlessites
on flower(s)2610
on flowering plant174
on plant (unspecified)22
Host plant notes

In SA, adults of this species have mostly been found on flowering Sugarwood Myoporum platycarpum, a plant from the same family (Scrophulariaceae) as the usual host of another SA member of the C. sexplagiata group, C. vanderwoudeae. However, in NSW it has only been recorded on genera from other families, including Rutaceae (Geijera parviflora, (Carter 1934}) and Myrtaceae (Kunzea and/or Leptospermum, Hawkeswood 1978, Webb 1986).

¹ LegendregionsSA State Herbarium regions (map)
EA: Eastern, EP: Eyre Peninsula, FR: Flinders Ranges, GT: Gairdner-Torrens, KI: Kangaroo Island, LE: Lake Eyre, MU: Murray, NL: Northern Lofty, NU: Nullarbor, NW: North-Western, SE: South-Eastern, SL: Southern Lofty, YP: Yorke Peninsula
sizeThe ellipse is the correct size when printed, indicative on a desktop screen, and likely to be wrong on a mobile device.