Buprestidae of South Australia
( Jewel beetles )
by Peter J. Lang
Melobasis vittata   Blackburn, 1887
subfamily  Buprestinae » tribe  Melobasini » subtribe  Melobasina
Melobasis  species group: vittata
Melobasis vittata   Adult images
Melobasis vittata, PL0573, female, on Acacia retinodes, SL, 8.5 × 3.1 mm Melobasis vittata, PL0539, male, on Exocarpos cupressiformis, SL, 8.7 × 2.9 mm Melobasis vittata, PL1195, male, on Acacia pycnantha, SL Melobasis vittata, PL3464, male, from Allocasuarina verticillata, SL, 9.4 × 3.3 mm Melobasis vittata, PL0635, male, from Acacia pycnantha, SL, 8.7 × 3.2 mm Melobasis vittata, PL1165, male, from Acacia uncifolia, SL, 8.1 × 2.9 mm Melobasis vittata, PL0407, male, from Acacia pycnantha, SL, 7.9 × 2.9 mm Melobasis vittata, PL0539, male, on Exocarpos cupressiformis, SL, 8.7 × 2.9 mm
8.4 mm
3.4 mm
Measurements (mm)
7.1 – 9.4
n = 139.4
8.5 – 9.9
n = 3
n = 19.8
n = 1
2.5 – 3.3
n = 135.4
3.1 – 9.55
n = 3
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
Australian States:  WASAVICNSWQLD
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 vittata  (total of 36 beetles)
1 1 5 14
4 4 1
1 3 1
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
live emerged adults, count > median value of 1 per quarter month
live emerged adults, count <= median value of 1
live non-emerged adults only, for that quarter month
number of active beetles for that quarter month
Adult host plants
beetles sites SA regions¹ family position on host plant
Acacia pycnantha127FR, EP, MU, SL, KIF
Acacia retinodes95MU, SLF
Acacia uncifolia52SL, KIF
Exocarpos cupressiformis22SLS
Acacia leiophylla11KIF
Acacia sp. Winged (C.R.Alcock 4936)11YPF
Allocasuarina verticillata11SLC
Amyema miquelii11SLL
Bursaria spinosa ssp. spinosa11KIP
Santalum acuminatum11SLS
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 27 82% 4
S Santalaceae 3 9% 2
C Casuarinaceae 1 3% 1
L Loranthaceae 1 3% 1
P Pittosporaceae 1 3% 1
Position on adult host
on flower(s)11
on flowering plant32
on foliage or non-flowering plant2813
on plant (unspecified)22
Larval host plants
individuals sites SA regions¹ family adult ex billet
*Acacia notabilis11SLF1
Acacia retinodes11MUF1
Legendindividualscount of breeding adults, pupae and larvae
sitescount of major sites (unique 10 km grid cells +/- some distinct approximate localities)
*indicates alien (non-native) plant occurrences, either wild or planted (the species may be alien in SA, or native in parts of its SA range)
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 1 100% 1
Position in larval host
positionindividualssitesadult ex billet
dead stem222
Host plant notes

I have reared adults of M. vittata from billets cut from dead Acacia branches: one individual from A. retinodes near Rockleigh, and one from a cultivated shrub of Notable Wattle Acacia notabilis at Urrbrae. Turner 2001a reported the first breeding record of this species, with extraction of specimens from a dead shrub of A. chalkeri in NSW. Given its wide distribution and range of adult hosts, it is likely to breed in Golden Wattle A. pycnantha and a range of other Acacia species also.

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.