Buprestidae of South Australia
( Jewel beetles )
by Peter J. Lang
Melobasis fasciata   Carter, 1923
subfamily  Buprestinae » tribe  Melobasini » subtribe  Melobasina
Melobasis  species group: pretiosa
Melobasis fasciata   Adult images
Melobasis fasciata, SAMA, female, SL, leg. R.V.Southcott
Melobasis fasciata  Distinctive features

Distinguished by the broad anterior fascia which is well separated from the anterior margin of the elytra; allied to M. sexplagiata but larger in size, broader in shape, with less intense red colouration and more greenish reflections.


A syntype specimen of Melobasis pretiosa Blackburn 1877 in the SA Museum is clearly the same species as M. fasciata Carter, 1923, and was flagged as a Lectotype by Levey in 1974. As the earlier name has priority, it is likely that this species will be recognised as M. pretiosa in the future.

Tepper 1887 (p. 16) may be referring to this species when he writes: 'The larva of this, and some similarly tinted species, live in the old and very thick dead corky bark of redgum (Euc. rostrata) [= Eucalyptus camaldulensis], from which the writer has often extracted the beetles in early spring. The latter seldom frequent flowers, but are mostly found on the sunny side of the trunks or leaves of Eucalypts, and are active and wary in the hot sunshine, though sluggish on cloudy days.'

SA Regions¹:  SL
Australian States:  VICSANSWQLD
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 fasciata  (total of 2 beetles)
1 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 plant
beetles sites SA regions¹ family position on host plant
Eucalyptus camaldulensis ssp. camaldulensis11SLM
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
M Myrtaceae 1 100% 1
Position on adult host
  on trunk11
Host plant notes

An allied species from WA (in the same species group) is well known for breeding in the corky basal bark of Eucalyptus rudis (Flooded Gum), a eucalypt that is closely related taxonomically and ecologically to the Red Gum. A single specimen of M. fasciata was observed alighting on the trunk of a Red gum (E. camaldulensis) in Adelaide by R.V. Glatz (pers. comm.). This, taken together with the fact that Red Gums are prominent at a number of the SA collection locations, suggests that M. fasciata may breed in the thick basal bark of that eucalypt.

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