Buprestidae of South Australia
( Jewel beetles )
by Peter J. Lang
Melobasis rothei   Blackburn, 1887
subfamily  Buprestinae » tribe  Melobasini » subtribe  Melobasina
Melobasis  species group: melanura
Melobasis rothei   Adult images
Melobasis rothei, PL3195B, female, from Senna artemisioides ssp. filifolia, MU, 14.0 × 5.0 mm Melobasis rothei, PL3195C, female, from Senna artemisioides ssp. petiolaris, MU, 13.8 × 5.0 mm
13.3 mm
4.8 mm
Measurements (mm)
12.8 – 14
n = 5
12.45 – 12.85
n = 2
4.4 – 5
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 rothei  Distinctive features

Bronze to dark grey-bronze colouration and a broad, thick body shape. Head with a shallow depression medially at the junction of the anterior frons and clypeus, a feature unique within the species group (Levey 2023). Readily distinguishable from M. sordida by the puncta of the medial pronotum not being transversely elongated, and from M. soror soror by the rather weak elytral costae.


Named by Blackburn 1887 after a Mr. Rothe of Sedan (in the MU Region against the eastern margin of the Mt Lofty Ranges) from whom he received a collection of this species.

In the protologue, Blackburn 1887 commented that "the peculiar form of the thorax distinguishes this insect from all other species that bear any resemblance to it" and drew attention to "the prosternum a little elevated across its front margin instead of being declivous". These features are difficult to interpret.

Until November 2020 Melobasis rothei was included on these pages within the entity Melobasis sp. Brown. I am grateful to Brian Levey (2020, pers. comm.) who identified the images shown here as being M. rothei, having previously seen the type and matched specimens of this species against it.

SA Regions¹:  NUFREPMU
Australian States:  WANTSANSWQLD
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 rothei  (total of 5 beetles)
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
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
number of active beetles for that quarter month
Adult host plants
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 5 100% 2
Position on adult host
on foliage or non-flowering plant53
Host plant notes

Levey 2023 reports that adults have been collected from foliage of Senna and Acacia species. My collections in SA have all been from Senna artemisioides.

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.