Cheiloxena frenchae Blackburn, 1893

Reid, C. A. M. & Beatson, M., 2018, Revision of the Australian leaf beetle genus Cheiloxena Baly, 1860 (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Spilopyrinae), Zootaxa 4497 (4), pp. 501-534: 523-524

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Cheiloxena frenchae Blackburn, 1893


Cheiloxena frenchae Blackburn, 1893 

( Figs 2View FIGURES 1–2, 6View FIGURES 3–6, 16View FIGURES 13–21, 25View FIGURES 22–30, 33View FIGURES 31–34, 46View FIGURES 43–51, 55View FIGURES 52–61, 65View FIGURES 62–68, 72, 77View FIGURE 77)

Cheiloxena frenchae Blackburn 1893: 138  (type locality: Latrobe River District , Victoria) 

Material examined. Types: Holotype: ♀ */ Latrobe R Dist Vict/ Cheiloxena frenchae Blackb.  Victoria / Nat. Mus  . Victoria C. French’s coll 5.11.08 / type / type T-9752 Cheiloxena  frenchi [sic] Blkb./ (MVM). 

Nontypes (2): Ƌ*, ♀*/ VIC, Cambarville, by picnic grounds, 37.559817S 145.883788E on Lomatia fraseri  , det CR, 26.i.2016, M. Lagerway / (AMS).

Diagnosis. Cheiloxena frenchae  is distinguished by: upper and lower surfaces scaled; anterior margin of clypeus truncate; pronotum with almost parallel paired ridges; hypomeral lobe rugose, with scales at base; apical half of elytra conspicuously tuberculate with largest tubercles arranged in a transverse row.

Description. Length: male 9.5 mm, female 12.5–15.5 mm; body moderately convex in profile, length about 3x height; colour black, except maxillary and labial palpi reddish-brown; almost entirely clothed with adpressed white to brown scale-like setae (length 3– 5x width), but not distinctly variegated in colour, setae not thinner on depressed areas of pronotum and elytra, thinner on anterior of clypeus, apices of mandibles, prosternal and mesoventral processes, legs, apex of abdominal ventrite V, and antennomeres 1–7, absent from antennomeres 8–11 (with simple setae only); scale-like setae distributed almost evenly on head but clypeal margins glabrous, almost evenly on pronotum but slightly sparser on depressed areas and absent from apices of ridges, densely on scutellum, and irregularly on elytra with mosaic of dense patches and more sparsely setose areas and larger tubercles withelongate semi-erect brown setae at apices; ventral surfaces with dense white adpressed setae except thin setae on ventrite V, setae of appendages thin but dense; surface sculpture: head except clypeal margins, pronotum and metaventrite densely punctured and microreticulate, relatively shining, elytra and rest of thoracic venter, including pronotal hypomera, dull, more sparsely punctate but densely microsculptured; clypeal margins, apices of tubercles and ridges, and abdominal ventrites shining and not distinctly microsculptured.

Head ( Figs 2View FIGURES 1–2, 6View FIGURES 3–6, 16View FIGURES 13–21, 25View FIGURES 22–30): slightly narrower than pronotum in both sexes, head width 0.95x pronotal width; closely but not confluently punctured, punctures small, intervals shiny and not conspicuously microsculptured, and with narrow impunctate shining frontoclypeal sutures, apicolateral margin of clypeus, and margins of antennal cavities; convex between eyes, flat between antennae; eyes laterally prominent, separated by about 4 eye widths (male) or 5 eye widths (female); gena at shortest point about 0.3x eye length (male) to about 0.5x eye length (female); genal lobe 2x (male) to equal (female) shortest length of gena; antennae 3x (male) to 4x (female) socket diameters apart; antennae about 0.8x body length (male), or about 0.6x body length (female); antennomeres 1–6 dull with shining apices, apex of 7 and 8–11 entirely matt; antennomeres 1 and 3–11 elongate, 2 slightly transverse, 0.5x length of 1, 0.25x length of 3, relative lengths of antennomeres with 3 longest and 7 next, in both sexes, and middle segments of unequal lengths: male: 2, <1, <8, <9=10, <4, <6, <5, <11, <7, <3; female: 2, <1=8, <9=10, <6, <4=11, <5, <7, <3; clypeus with 2–3 pairs of long subapical setae; clypeal anterior margin truncate; male apical maxillary palpomere broadly ovoid with truncate apex.

Thorax ( Figs 2View FIGURES 1–2, 6View FIGURES 3–6, 16View FIGURES 13–21, 25View FIGURES 22–30, 33View FIGURES 31–34, 42View FIGURES 38–42): sides slightly swollen laterally at middle, no clear distinction between dorsal and ventral (hypomeral) areas of pronotum; pronotal puncturation similar to head, except punctures slightly larger on average; interspaces lightly microsculptured, slightly shiny; pronotum slightly longer (measured at midline) than wide, length 1.05x width, greatest width at anterior angles and middle, sides weakly sinuate; anterior angles prominent, acute (45°); anterior margin produced, concave at middle; sides without tubercles; basal margin feebly convex; pronotal disc with two prominent subparallel keels from middle to anterior margin, asymmetrically convex in lateral view with shorter strongly curved anterior slope and longer straight posterior slope, sharp in anterior half; remainder of disc unevenly surfaced, concave apicolaterally and either side of small postmedian swelling; hypomeron and prosternum densely punctured and pubescent, as pronotum, with shiny interspaces, except most of hypomeral lobe glabrous and rugose (base of lobe with punctures and scales); scutellum punctured and setose, as pronotum; elytra fairly evenly scaled, but tendency to form pale flecks; elytron conspicuously tuberculate, with variably sized shiny tipped tubercles arranged in approximately 4 clusters close to suture, from base to apex, as follows: first (basal) with 1 large posteriorly directed tubercle; second (median) with 1 small conical tubercle; third (subapical) with 2 adjacent massive conical tubercles, larger than others; fourth (apical) with 3 conspicuous but small tubercles, well-separated and arranged as a triangle; small tubercles scattered at base and sides of elytron; elytral disc shallowly arcuately depressed in basal half, posterior to humerus, and slightly concave at sides of middle; elytral punctures large, diameters 1.5– 2x width pronotal punctures and much deeper, and slightly sparser, separated by 1–1.5x diameters; interspaces dull, densely microsculptured; discal elytral punctures with two small shining tubercles laterally on rim; elytral apex narrowly truncate; epipleuron finely and shallowly punctured, with scale-like pubescence; mesoventrite punctured as prosternum; metepisternum and metaventrite shiny but distinctly microsculptured, densely punctured and scaled, except midline impunctate and shining; metatibiae with shallow irregular lateral longitudinal grooves, thin and elongated; bases of tarsomeres 1–3 depressed; protarsomeres 1–3 equally narrow at base in both sexes.

Abdomen ( Figs 46View FIGURES 43–51, 55View FIGURES 52–61, 65View FIGURES 62–68, 72, 77View FIGURE 77): ventrites I–V closely and strongly punctured, interspaces shiny and shallowly microreticulate throughout; ventrite pubescence recumbent, scale-like, but much narrower on ventrite V, which has erect setae at apex; apex of ventrite V narrowly truncate in male, convex in female; apex of penis contracted to blunt mucronate tip in dorsal view, apex thin and elongate in lateral view, and strongly curved; tegminal keel shallowly sinuate in lateral view, proximal tip slightly expanded and bilobed; female sternite VIII apodeme short and broad, apical sclerotised area about as long as wide, with narrow lateral arms, apex truncate; apex of outer margin of gonocoxite with several long setae; stylus only slightly elongate; median ventral sclerite elongate, only lateral margins distinctly sclerotised; spermatheca falcate, acutely tipped, with simple, short, uncoiled duct.

Notes. The previous description of this species was based on a combination of the female holotype and a male from NSW which we now regard as a separate species ( C. monga  , see below). Our description therefore represents the first correct description of the male.

Cheiloxena frenchae  is restricted to the hills east of Melbourne, Victoria, at 900–1200 m elevation. Specimens of C. frenchae  at Cambarville have been photographed live, including the material we have dissected ( Lagerwey 2016a; Monaghan 2018). They were observed feeding on Lomatia fraseri  ( Proteaceae  ) and sent live to us in Sydney with leaves of this plant. The female laid typical spilopyrine faeces-covered eggs, which failed to hatch. Another live specimen has been photographed at Mt Donna Buang, Victoria ( Fig. 2View FIGURES 1–2; Monaghan 2018).

Cheiloxena frenchae  is attracted to lights at night ( Monaghan 2018).














Cheiloxena frenchae Blackburn, 1893

Reid, C. A. M. & Beatson, M. 2018


Cheiloxena frenchae Blackburn 1893 : 138

Blackburn 1893 : 138