Buprestidae of South Australia
( Jewel beetles )
by Peter J. Lang
Melobasis sp. Senna  
subfamily  Buprestinae » tribe  Melobasini » subtribe  Melobasina
Melobasis  species group: nervosa
Melobasis sp. Senna   Adult images
Melobasis sp. Senna, PL0698, male, on Senna artemisioides ssp. petiolaris, MU, 11.6 × 3.7 mm Melobasis sp. Senna, PL0698, male, on Senna artemisioides ssp. petiolaris, MU, 11.6 × 3.7 mm Melobasis sp. Senna, PL0698, male, MU, 11.6 × 3.7 mm Melobasis sp. Senna, PL0698, male, on Senna artemisioides ssp. petiolaris, MU, 11.6 × 3.7 mm Melobasis sp. Senna, PL1540A, on Senna artemisioides ssp. petiolaris, EP Melobasis sp. Senna, PL1540A, on Senna artemisioides ssp. petiolaris, EP Melobasis sp. Senna, PL1540A, on Senna artemisioides ssp. petiolaris, EP Melobasis sp. Senna, PL0698, male, on Senna artemisioides ssp. petiolaris, MU, 11.6 × 3.7 mm Melobasis sp. Senna, PL0698, male, on Senna artemisioides ssp. petiolaris, MU, 11.6 × 3.7 mm Melobasis sp. Senna, PL0698, male, on Senna artemisioides ssp. petiolaris, MU, 11.6 × 3.7 mm Melobasis sp. Senna, PL1540, adult host plant, host Senna artemisioides ssp. petiolaris, EP Melobasis sp. Senna, PL1540, adult host plant, host Senna artemisioides ssp. petiolaris, EP
Actual
size¹:
12.8 mm
×
4.1 mm
Measurements (mm)
malefemale
L112.4
11.6 – 13.3
n = 713.3
12.35 – 14.1
n = 5
L212.3
11.85 – 12.9
n = 612.8
12 – 13.7
n = 4
W3.8
3.2 – 4.2
n = 74.4
4.1 – 4.75
n = 5
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 sp. Senna  Distinctive features

Body shape more slender (narrower and thinner) than M. rothei and with much more conspicuous silvery hairs on the head and ventral side. Readily distinguishable from M. sordida by the puncta of the medial pronotum not being transversely elongated, and from M. soror soror by the very feeble elytral costae.

Notes

Previously this species has been misidentified in SA as Melobasis rothei, and until November 2020 it was included on these pages under that name. It belongs in the M. nervosa species group based on the key to groups in Levey 2012, whereas M. rothei is in the M. melanura species group.

In the revision of the M. nervosa species group by Levey 2018 it keys out to the endemic WA species M. barkeri. Despite a general resemblance, it differs from M. barkeri in a number of features including the pronotum shape being more rounded laterally and tapered at the posterior, and in lacking reddish violet reflections on the ventral abdomen and elsewhere. As in M. soror soror, the head is densely clothed with long silvery pubescence, but it differs in lacking the stronger elytral costae of that species. It is treated here as a probable new species.

Distribution
SA Regions¹:  EPMU
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 Melobasis sp. Senna  (total of 24 beetles)
1 3 4
9 5 2
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Legend
live emerged adults, count > median value of 4 per quarter month
live emerged adults, count <= median value of 4
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
Senna artemisioides ssp. petiolaris95EP, MUF
Senna artemisioides ssp. x coriacea84EP, MUF
Senna artemisioides21MUF
Senna artemisioides ssp. zygophylla21EPF
Senna artemisioides ssp. quadrifolia22MUF
Acacia calamifolia11EPF
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 16 100% 5
Position on adult host
positionbeetlessites
on flower(s)21
on flowering plant97
on foliage or non-flowering plant133
Host plant notes

As with M. rothei, adults are strongly associated with Senna artemisioides and their appearance coincides with the flowering time of these bushes.

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.