Buprestidae of South Australia
( Jewel beetles )
by Peter J. Lang
Melobasis speciosa   Blackburn, 1887
subfamily  Buprestinae » tribe  Melobasini » subtribe  Melobasina
Melobasis  species group: aclypea
Melobasis speciosa   Adult images
Melobasis speciosa, PL2744, on Acacia calamifolia, EP Melobasis speciosa, PL1056A, on Acacia quornensis, EP Melobasis speciosa, PL0331, female, from Acacia euthycarpa, MU, 6.7 × 2.3 mm Melobasis speciosa, PL2340, on Acacia calamifolia, FR Melobasis speciosa, PL1056A, on Acacia quornensis, EP Melobasis speciosa, PL2340, on Acacia calamifolia, FR Melobasis speciosa, PL2348, on Acacia calamifolia, FR Melobasis speciosa, PL2348, on Acacia calamifolia, FR Melobasis speciosa, PL2348, on Acacia calamifolia, FR Melobasis speciosa, PL2348, on Acacia calamifolia, FR Melobasis speciosa, PL2744, on Acacia calamifolia, EP Melobasis speciosa, PL2744, on Acacia calamifolia, EP Melobasis speciosa, PL0331, female, on Acacia euthycarpa, MU, 6.7 × 2.3 mm
Actual
size¹:
8.2 mm
×
2.8 mm
Measurements (mm)
malefemale
L18.6
7.3 – 9.55
n = 38.1
6.35 – 10
n = 9
L28.4
7.15 – 9.4
n = 38.3
6.3 – 9.85
n = 7
W2.9
2.45 – 3.3
n = 32.8
2.2 – 3.5
n = 9
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 speciosa  Distinctive features

Larger on average than Melobasis gratiosissima and with head and pronotum differently coloured to elytra, often blue, sometimes green or gold (golden-green in protologue), and with more extensive dark fasciae on the elytra.

Notes

Closely related to Melobasis gratiosissima (q.v.) and placed as a synonym under that species by Carter 1909. Emerges earlier than M. gratiosissma and is generally collected in spring (rather than summer like M. gratiosissima).

The taxonomic status of M. speciosa needs further investigation, as M. gratiosissma and M. speciosa are highly variable in size and colouration patterns. This is illustrated by the fact that Obenberger 1942 described three new varieties of M. gratiosissima, all from the same location, interpreted to be Gawler, SA (although given as 'New South Wales: Gowlerstown (Odewahn)').

Blackburn described the underside of M. speciosa as blue, but Obenberger's key gives it as green or green-gold, and has typical M. gratiosissima keyed in a group of varieties that are very blue underneath.

Distribution
SA Regions¹:  NWLEFRMUYP
Australian States:  SANSW+?
South Australian occurrences
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 speciosa  (total of 69 beetles)
2
4 2 17 8
22 6
4 2 1
1
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 sp.195FR, EP, MUF
171FRF
98FR, EPF
41EPM
44FR, EP, MUF
31EPF
32EP, MUF
22EP, MUF
11EPF
11EPF
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 names in green are hyperlinked to a matching host species page with plant photos.
Plant family
Code beetles % host plant taxa
F Fabaceae 57 93% 7
M Myrtaceae 4 7% 1
Position on adult host
positionbeetlessites
on flower(s)52
on flowering plant44
on foliage or non-flowering plant5019
on plant (unspecified)42
Larval host plant
records sites SA regions¹ family adult dead
11NLF1
Legendrecordscount 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 names in green are hyperlinked to a matching host species page with plant photos.
Plant family
Code records % host plant taxa
F Fabaceae 1 100% 1
Position in larval host
positionrecordssitesadult dead
dead stem111
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.