Buprestidae of South Australia
( Jewel beetles )
by Peter J. Lang
Diphucrania chalcophora   (Barker, 2001)
subfamily  Agrilinae » tribe  Coraebini » subtribe  Cisseina
Diphucrania  species group: modesta
Diphucrania chalcophora   Adult images
Diphucrania chalcophora, PL1014H, male, on Acacia retinodes, SL, 6.7 × 2.5 mm Diphucrania chalcophora, PL1014H, male, on Acacia retinodes, SL, 6.7 × 2.5 mm Diphucrania chalcophora, PL0416A, male, on Acacia retinodes, SL, 4.9 × 1.8 mm Diphucrania chalcophora, PL0950B, male, on Acacia retinodes, MU, 6.1 × 2.2 mm Diphucrania chalcophora, PL0579, female, from Acacia retinodes, SL, 5.8 × 2.1 mm Diphucrania chalcophora, PL0647, female, from Acacia retinodes, SL, 6.2 × 2.3 mm Diphucrania chalcophora, PL0645, male, from Acacia retinodes, SL, 5.9 × 2.2 mm Diphucrania chalcophora, PL0416A, male, from Acacia retinodes, SL, 4.9 × 1.8 mm Diphucrania chalcophora, PL0647, female, on Acacia retinodes, SL, 6.2 × 2.3 mm Diphucrania chalcophora, PL0647, female, on Acacia retinodes, SL, 6.2 × 2.3 mm Diphucrania chalcophora, PL0416B, female, on Acacia retinodes, SL, 5.1 × 1.9 mm Diphucrania chalcophora, PL0416A, male, on Acacia retinodes, SL, 4.9 × 1.8 mm Diphucrania chalcophora, PL1014H, male, on Acacia retinodes, SL, 6.7 × 2.5 mm Diphucrania chalcophora, PL0645, male, from Acacia retinodes, SL, 5.9 × 2.2 mm Diphucrania chalcophora, PL0579, PL0645, female and male, from Acacia retinodes, SL Diphucrania chalcophora, PL0998, adult host plant, host Acacia retinodes, MU Diphucrania chalcophora, PL1014, adult host plant, host Acacia retinodes, SL
Actual
size¹:
6.1 mm
×
2.3 mm
Measurements (mm)
malefemale
L16.0
4.9 – 6.7
n = 206.3
5 – 7
n = 20
L25.8
5.35 – 6.3
n = 26.4
6.2 – 6.55
n = 3
W2.2
1.8 – 2.5
n = 202.3
1.9 – 2.7
n = 20
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
Diphucrania chalcophora  Distinctive features

Elongate body shape, highly reflective metallic colouration, usually predominantly greenish but males with head and pronotum copper to bright cerise-pink.

Notes

This species appears closely related to C. westwoodi which is found in NSW and Victoria, it but differs in the coppery to rose coloured head and pronotum of the males. The original description by Barker 2001 was based on a population from NW of Kapunda in the NL Region, the only place it was known at the time. I have found that it is well distributed throughout the northern and southern Mt Lofty Ranges (NL, SL and adjoining western edge of MU Region) wherever its host plant, Acacia retinodes grows.

Distribution
SA Regions¹:  NLSLMU
Australian States:  SA
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 Diphucrania chalcophora  (total of 201 beetles)
42
77 29 2 25
20 2 4
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Legend
live emerged adults, count > median value of 25 per quarter month
live emerged adults, count <= median value of 25
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
Acacia retinodes19512NL, MU, SLF
Acacia pycnantha11MUF
unknown11SL
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
F Fabaceae 196 100% 2
Position on adult host
positionbeetlessites
on flowering plant295
on foliage or non-flowering plant12710
on plant (unspecified)401
other
  unknown11
Host plant notes

This species appears to be highly host specific: of 196 individuals all but one was from Acacia retinodes, the sole exception being on a tree of A. pycnantha situated near a stand of A. retinodes. The virtual uniqueness of the association is unusual: twelve other Buprestid species also use A. retinodes as an adult host, but none of those are confined to it and are commonly found on other Acacia species also. Acacia retinodes is one of only a few SA Acacia species that flower in this region during summer, and it is postulated that D. chalcophora may have become dependent on its flowers as a food source (rather than, or as well as, its foliage), and so become tied to this species.

Notably, D. chalcophora has not be found on the closely related species Acacia provincialis and A. uncifolia that were previously included within A. retinodes.

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.