Buprestidae of South Australia
( Jewel beetles )
by Peter J. Lang
Melobasis simplex   (Germar, 1848)
subfamily  Buprestinae » tribe  Melobasini » subtribe  Melobasina
Melobasis  species group: melanura
Melobasis simplex   Adult images
Melobasis simplex, PL0406, male, on Acacia pycnantha, SL, 9.1 × 3.2 mm Melobasis simplex, PL0527, male, on Acacia retinodes, MU, 9.9 × 3.5 mm Melobasis simplex, PL0394, female, on Exocarpos cupressiformis, SL, 10.3 × 3.9 mm Melobasis simplex, PL3104, PL1193, female and male, from Acacia pycnantha Melobasis simplex, PL0528A, female, on Acacia retinodes, MU, 10.6 × 3.8 mm Melobasis simplex, PL0528A, female, on Acacia retinodes, MU, 10.6 × 3.8 mm Melobasis simplex, PL0603B, female, on Acacia pycnantha, SL, 11.2 × 4.0 mm Melobasis simplex, PL2342, male, on Acacia calamifolia, FR Melobasis simplex, PL2342, male, on Acacia calamifolia, FR Melobasis simplex, PL2342, male, on Acacia calamifolia, FR Melobasis simplex, PL0527, male, on Acacia retinodes, MU, 9.9 × 3.5 mm Melobasis simplex, PL0527, male, on Acacia retinodes, MU, 9.9 × 3.5 mm Melobasis simplex, PL0394, female, on Exocarpos cupressiformis, SL, 10.3 × 3.9 mm Melobasis simplex, PL0394, female, on Exocarpos cupressiformis, SL, 10.3 × 3.9 mm Melobasis simplex, PL0394, female, on Exocarpos cupressiformis, SL, 10.3 × 3.9 mm Melobasis simplex, PL1193, male, on Acacia pycnantha, SL Melobasis simplex, PL0606C, from Acacia pycnantha, SL, 9.3 × 3.2 mm
Actual
size¹:
10.2 mm
×
3.5 mm
Measurements (mm)
malefemale
L19.7
8.45 – 15.05
n = 2711.0
9.3 – 15.5
n = 19
L29.5
8.8 – 10.6
n = 811.7
10.45 – 15.3
n = 6
W3.3
3 – 3.75
n = 273.7
2.5 – 4.4
n = 19
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
Notes

This species was described by Germar 1848 (as Buprestis simplex) based on a type collection from Adelaide. It is still common on foliage of Golden Wattle Acacia pycnantha in the Adelaide area. This is a leaf-eating species found on that host plus a few other Acacia species in the more temperate areas of the Mt Lofty Ranges through to the southern Flinders Ranges. Records from EP and MU Regions are confined to the western margin of the southern Flinders Ranges and the eastern margin of the Mt Lofty Ranges respectively.

Melobasis simplex often occurs together with a similarly proportioned bronze-coloured species, M. sordida, which Carter 1929 had placed in synonymy under it. Melobasis sordida, however, is clearly a distinct species and was assigned to a different species group by Levey 2018.

As defined here M. simplex also excludes M. semisuturalis Blackburn, 1887 which is a member of the M. purpurascens species group.

Distribution
SA Regions¹:  FREPNLMUSLSE
Australian States:  SAVICNSW
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 simplex  (total of 184 beetles)
1 6
4 1 25
71 7 14 22
26 1 5 1
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Legend
live emerged adults, count > median value of 6 per quarter month
live emerged adults, count <= median value of 6
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 pycnantha8515FR, EP, NL, MU, SLF
Acacia retinodes618NL, MU, SLF
Acacia wattsiana102NLF
Acacia calamifolia83FR, EPF
Acacia quornensis21EPF
Acacia euthycarpa11MUF
Allocasuarina verticillata11SLC1
Callistemon sieberi11SLU
Callitris gracilis11NLC2
Exocarpos cupressiformis11SLS
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 167 98% 6
C1 Casuarinaceae 1 1% 1
C2 Cupressaceae 1 1% 1
S Santalaceae 1 1% 1
U Unmatched 1 1% 1
Position on adult host
positionbeetlessites
on flowering plant306
on foliage or non-flowering plant11523
on plant (unspecified)265
Melobasis simplex Breeding record images
Melobasis simplex, PL3104, female, reared adult, from Acacia pycnantha, billets, SL, 11.5 × 4.1 mm
Larval host plants
individuals sites SA regions¹ family adult ex billet
Acacia pycnantha141SLF14
Acacia retinodes61MUF6
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 20 100% 2
Position in larval host
positionindividualssitesadult ex billet
dead stem20220
Host plant notes

I have reared adults from billets cut from the dead stems of two common adult host species: Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha), and Wirilda 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.