Buprestidae of South Australia
( Jewel beetles )
by Peter J. Lang
Microcastalia sp. Mealy copper  
subfamily  Buprestinae » tribe  unplaced » subtribe  none
Microcastalia sp. Mealy copper   Adult images
Microcastalia sp. Mealy copper, MAH 04165, female, from Acacia papyrocarpa branch, 13.3 × 4.6 mm Microcastalia sp. Mealy copper, MAH 04165, female, 13.3 × 4.6 mm Microcastalia sp. Mealy copper, MAH 04165, female, 13.3 × 4.6 mm Microcastalia sp. Mealy copper, MAH 04165, female, 13.3 × 4.6 mm Microcastalia sp. Mealy copper, MAH 04165, female, 13.3 × 4.6 mm Microcastalia sp. Mealy copper, MAH 04165, female, 13.3 × 4.6 mm
13.3 mm
4.6 mm
Measurements (mm)
n = 1
n = 1
n = 1
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
Microcastalia sp. Mealy copper  Distinctive features

Reddish copper colouration, much overlain by dense white mealiness, especially on the ventral side. Pronotum mostly with coarse puncturation, but a zone of denser and finer puncta medially in the anterior. Compared to M. scintillans, the lateral margins of the pronotum are more strongly contracted towards the anterior and posterior (but less so than in M. globithorax), and the elytra are more strongly tapered apically, and have much smaller puncta and more clearly defined costae which are scarcely punctate. Distinguished from M. globithorax by the elytra having tridentate apices and intercostal areas which are densely and finely punctate and much wider than the costae (ribs).
Differs from Notobubastes costatus in the broader body shape, more rounded pronotum with a longer and more pronounced median sulcus, and areas of coarser puncta and sculpturing on the pronotum and elytra.


The live specimen of this taxon illustrated above was collected from NW of Port Augusta by Mark A. Hura in December 2008. It is treated here as an undescribed species of Microcastalia, although it might as easily fit Notobubastes a genus considered by Bellamy & Peterson 2000 to be closely related and 'perhaps the sister group' to Microcastalia. Their maintenance as two separate genera warrants investigation. Microcastalia is the older name and would have priority.

The specimen was included in M. scintillans by (Lang & Stolarski 2020), and treated similarly on this website until June 2023. According to Mark (T.M.S.) Hanlon, the same taxon is known to occur in WA.

This species has the same white powdery excrescence in the puncta and other declivities as found on M. globithorax when fresh.

SA Regions¹:  EP
Australian States:  WASA
Southern 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 Microcastalia sp. Mealy copper  (total of 1 beetles)
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 plant
beetles sites SA regions¹ family position on host plant
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 1 100% 1
Position on adult host
  on branch11
Host plant notes

The SA specimen was found sitting on a branch of a young Western Myall (Acacia papyrocarpa), and its pristine condition raised the possibility that it might have only recently emerged from its host. However, in WA it is known to be associated with stems and branchlets of Hop-bush (Dodonaea) species (M. Powell; M.Hanlon, pers. comm. 2020).

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.