Buprestidae of South Australia
( Jewel beetles )
by Peter J. Lang
Melobasis semisuturalis   Blackburn, 1887
subfamily  Buprestinae » tribe  Melobasini » subtribe  Melobasina
Melobasis  species group: purpurascens
Melobasis semisuturalis   Adult images
Melobasis semisuturalis, PL0526A, female, on Acacia retinodes, MU, 7.5 × 2.9 mm Melobasis semisuturalis, PL0526B, female, on Acacia retinodes, MU, 7.4 × 2.8 mm Melobasis semisuturalis, PL0526E, female, on Acacia retinodes, MU, 7.1 × 2.7 mm Melobasis semisuturalis, PL0346, female, on Acacia retinodes, NL, ovipositor exserted, 7.5 × 2.8 mm Melobasis semisuturalis, PL0346, female, on Acacia retinodes, NL, 7.5 × 2.8 mm Melobasis semisuturalis, PL0526D, female, from Acacia retinodes, MU, 6.8 × 2.5 mm Melobasis semisuturalis, PL0526C, male, on Acacia retinodes, MU, 6.3 × 2.3 mm Melobasis semisuturalis, PL0526C, male, on Acacia retinodes, MU, 6.3 × 2.3 mm Melobasis semisuturalis, PL0526F, male, on Acacia retinodes, MU, 6.7 × 2.6 mm Melobasis semisuturalis, PL0526F, male, on Acacia retinodes, MU, 6.7 × 2.6 mm Melobasis semisuturalis, PL0526F, male, on Acacia retinodes, MU, 6.7 × 2.6 mm Melobasis semisuturalis, PL0404, male, on Acacia pycnantha, SL, 6.1 × 2.3 mm Melobasis semisuturalis, PL0404, male, from Acacia pycnantha, SL, 6.1 × 2.3 mm Melobasis semisuturalis, PL0543, male, on Acacia pycnantha, SL, 6.7 × 2.5 mm Melobasis semisuturalis, PL0526E, female, on Acacia retinodes, MU, 7.1 × 2.7 mm Melobasis semisuturalis, PL0526C, male, on Acacia retinodes, MU, 6.3 × 2.3 mm
Actual
size¹:
7.0 mm
×
2.6 mm
Measurements (mm)
malefemale
L16.7
5.65 – 7.6
n = 367.2
5.6 – 8.65
n = 55
L26.3
5.45 – 7.35
n = 77.1
6.05 – 8.5
n = 28
W2.5
2.2 – 2.9
n = 362.7
2.1 – 3.25
n = 55
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
Melobasis semisuturalis  Distinctive features

A relatively small Melobasis species, with the head and pronotum green to gold and the elytra usually bright green with red to purple colouration varying in extent from a narrow sutural strip in the posterior to covering most of the area. The distal third of the aedeagus is strongly tapered.

Notes

This species, described by Blackburn 1887, was sunk within M. simplex by Carter 1923b. However it is quite distinct from that species of the M. melanura species group of Levey 2018 and instead belongs in his M. purpurascens species group. This is supported by mitachondrial DNA CO1 barcode sequences which group it with M. splendida.

It is commonly found on foliage of Wirilda Acacia retinodes and Golden Wattle Acacia pycnantha in the southern Mt Lofty Ranges. The records from MU Region are confined to the eastern flank of the Mt Lofty Ranges.

Forms with substantial areas of golden colouration occur occasionally but do not seem to be tied to any particular geographical area.

Distribution
SA Regions¹:  NLMUYPSL
Australian States:  SAVIC?
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 Melobasis semisuturalis  (total of 306 beetles)
1
1 2 1
22 23 17 37
83 16 24 27
50 1 1
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Legend
live emerged adults, count > median value of 17 per quarter month
live emerged adults, count <= median value of 17
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 retinodes1379NL, MU, SLF
Acacia pycnantha538NL, MU, SLF
Acacia uncifolia181SLF
Acacia wattsiana81NLF
Acacia euthycarpa11MUF
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 217 100% 5
Position on adult host
positionbeetlessites
on flowering plant505
on foliage or non-flowering plant14314
on plant (unspecified)243
Larval host plants
individuals sites SA regions¹ family adult ex billet
Acacia retinodes881MUF88
Acacia pycnantha181SLF18
Legendindividualscount of breeding adults, pupae and larvae
sitescount of major sites (unique 10 km grid cells +/- some distinct approximate localities)
adultlive = extracted alive;   dead = extracted dead as intact or fragmentary remains;   ex billet = reared and emerged from stored sections of host;   ex pupa = reared from sampled pupa
pupaextracted pupa;   pupa ex larva = reared pupa from larva
larvaextracted larva (any stage including prepupa)
gall (only)hatched or unhatched gall identified by form and position rather than contents
Plant family
Code individuals % host plant taxa
F Fabaceae 106 100% 2
Position in larval host
positionindividualssitesadult ex billet
dead stem1062106
Host plant notes

I have reared large numbers of this species from billets cut from dead stems of Wirilda Acacia retinodes, and also from dead stem billets of Golden Wattle Acacia pycnantha.

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.