Cheiloxena westwoodii Baly, 1860

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: 529-531

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Cheiloxena westwoodii Baly, 1860


Cheiloxena westwoodii Baly, 1860 

( Figs 1View FIGURES 1–2, 11, 12View FIGURES 11–12, 20, 21View FIGURES 13–21, 29, 30View FIGURES 22–30, 36, 37View FIGURES 35–37, 50, 51View FIGURES 43–51, 60, 61View FIGURES 52–61, 68View FIGURES 62–68, 75, 76, 78View FIGURE 77View FIGURE 78)

Cheiloxena westwoodii Baly, 1860: 255  (type locality: Australia) 

Material examined. Non-types (85). ACT: Ƌ*/ Blundell Hill, Brindabella Ra, 900m, Astrotricha ledifolia  (flws), 17.xii.1989 C. Reid (ANIC); ♂/ Blundell Ck, 12.xi.1985 G. Cassis (AMS); ♂/ Brindabella Ra, 3000’, 12.xii.1966, IFB Common (ANIC); New South Wales: ♀/ Barrington Tops, J Hopson (AMS); ♂, ♀/ The Bird Tree, Little Brother SF, 31:41S 142:41E, stop 50, 16.xi.1983 D Rentz, M Harvey (ANIC); 2♂, 2♀/ Blackheath, Blue Mtns, on fern-like shrub somewhat similar to Lomatia  , i.1941, B & G. Styles (ANIC); 1♀/ Lots 72, 73, 148, Caparra 13.x.1995 mv light S Watkins/ SG Watkins coll. donated 2001/ (ANIC); 1♀ ditto except 6.xii.1994 (ANIC); 1♀ ditto except 17.xii.1993 (ANIC); 1♂ ditto except 4.x.1988 (ANIC); ♂/ Culoul Ra., at light, 8.xi.1978 (AMS); ♀/ nr Cutters pass, Williams R, 23–30.x.1926 A Musgrave & TG Campbell (AMS); 2♀/ Dingo Tops Forest Park, Dingo SF, NW Wingham, 14.i.1993, mv light/ SG Watkins coll. donated 2001/ (ANIC); ♂/ Dorrigo W Heron (ANIC); ♀/ Doyles River SF, Tirrill Ck Rd, nr bridge, on ground at night, 31.x.2007, A. Scott (AMS); ♀/ Eungai 16.x. 197[numeral missing] FT Fricke (AMS); 2♂*/ Gibraltar Ra. NP, 29:28S 152:21E, 950m, 10.x.1974 IFB Common, ED Edwards (ANIC); ♀/ The Granites, Washpool NP, to light, 4.i.1991 A Sundholm, R De Keyzer (AMS); 2♂/ Hasting R HJC[arter] (ANIC); ♀*/ Island Bend, Kosciusko NP, 36:19S 148:29E, 850m, on Eucalyptus  , 5.xi.1987, C. Reid (ANIC); ♀/ Kuringai NP, McCarrs Rd entrance, feeding on Astritricha latifolia  , i.2007, S Düngelhoef & J Pedersen (AMS); 3♂, 3♀/ Moonpah SF, via Dorrigo, 11.xii.1971 GB Monteith (QMB); ♀/ Mt Bib[benluke], 21.iii.1964 / DA Doolan coll/ (AMS); 1♂/ summit Mt Marie, Dingo SF 23. xii.1 994 mv light S Watkins/ SG Watkins coll. donated 2001/ (ANIC); 3♀/ Mt Tomah, Blue Mtns, 31.i.1981 NW Rodd (AMS); ♀, ditto, except 30.i.1981 (AMS); ♀, ditto except 20.x.1980 (AMS); ♀, ditto except 28.xi.1981 (AMS); ♂, ditto except 5.i.1982 (AMS); ♂, ditto except 2.i.1984 (AMS); ♀, ditto except 16.xi.1984 (AMS); ♂, ditto, except 4.xi.1988 (AMS); ♂, ditto, except 29.x.1988 (AMS); ♂, ditto, except 29.ii.1992 (AMS); 2♂, ♀/ Mt Tomah 9.i.1978 (AMS); 2♂, 2♀, ditto, except 24.ii.1978 (AMS); ♀, ditto except 29.ii.1984 (AMS); ♀/ North Rocks 20.ix.1941 (ANIC); ♂/ 5k NW Ourimbah, 33:19S 151:21E, 25.xi.1976 IFB Common & ED Edwards (ANIC); ♂/ Potoroo Rd @ Little Run Ck Dingo SF 15.xi.1994 / SG Watkins coll. donated 2001/ (ANIC); ♀/ Robertson, HJC (ANIC); ♂/ Swans Xing, Kerewong SF, c.12k WNW Kendall, ex rainforest, 11–12.xii.1994, G Williams (AMS); ♂/ 24k SE Threeways, 32:49S 150:25E, 30.xii.1977 G Daniels (AMS); 2♂, ♀/ Ulong East Dorrigo W Heron/ (AMS); ♂/ Vincents Lookout N East Lansdowne NSW 11.ix.1995 S Watkins/ SG Watkins coll. donated 2001/ (ANIC); ♀/ Wadsworth Trail @ Potoroo Rd, Dingo SF, NSW, 4.xii.1995, mv light/ SG Watkins coll. donated 2001/ (ANIC); 2♀*/ Wild Cattle Ck SF, Mobong Ck, 17k (air) N Dorrigo, 16.xi.1982 J Doyen (ANIC); ♀/ Yarranapping Mt, 16.x.1973 FT Fricke (AMS); Queensland: ♂, ♀/ [Lamington] National Park, xii.1919 H Hacker (QMB); ♂/ Mt Asplenium, 28:09S 152:26E, 1290m, 18–20.xii.1992 GB Monteith (QMB); Victoria: 2♂/ no further data (MHNP); 2♂, 2♀/ French [ex coll.] (MHNP); ♀*/ "loc.?" CF (ANIC); ♂, ♀*/ Belgrave, xi.1948, C.O[ke]/ JG Brooks bequest 1976/ (ANIC); ♀/ ditto, except i.1949 (MVM); ♂/ Emerald, 26.ii.1903 GAK (ANIC); ♂/ Emerald, 7.iii.1943, FE Wilson (ANIC); ♂*/ H[ealesville] 3746 [Blackburn label]/ (AMS); 2♂/ Healesville/ EW Ferguson coll./ (ANIC); ♂/ Melbourne no.1530 E. Fischer/ (ANIC); ♀/ Mt Buffalo NP, 8km from entrance gate, c20k SE Myrtleford, 500m, 4.xii.1980, DA Pollock & LA Reichert (ANIC); ♂/ Warburton, Cement Ck, Nothofagus cunninghamii  etc, 670m, 10–17.i.1980, A. Newton, M. Thayer (ANIC); ♂/ Warburton, 6.xii.1931 FE Wilson (ANIC); ♂/ 25k from Warburton, on Acheron Way, 37:37:35S 145:42:46E, on Pomaderris aspera  , swampy burnt forest, 7.xii.2012, C Reid & E Tan (AMS).

Diagnosis. Cheiloxena westwoodii  is distinguished by: anterior margin of clypeus deeply excavate; pronotum without dorsal ridges but with 1–2 lateral tubercles; elytra without large conical tubercles.

Description. Length: male 9.5– 13 mm, female 8–13 mm; body convex in profile, length about 3x height; colour entirely black, except maxillary and labial palpi often reddish-brown, dorsal and ventral surfaces with golden scale-like setae except scales dark and thin on apices of elytral tubercles; scale-like setae recumbent, variable in proportion (length 3– 8x width), narrowest at apices of tubercles, distributed as follows: close and almost even on head; close and almost even on pronotum; dense on scutellum; with mosaic of dense patches and unscaled areas on elytral disc, usually forming 3–7 pale spots along elytral suture and along lateral margin, elytral tubercles with elongate semi-erect setae, fairly sparse but even on ventral surfaces, or with dense pale spots at lateral margin of metaventrite and middle of ventrites, ventral surfaces of femora with or without dense pale setae, setae of remainder of appendages thin, except antennomeres 8–11 minutely setose; surface sculpture: head, pronotum, elytra and venter dull, punctate and densely microsculptured, except shining apices of tubercles.

Head ( Figs 1View FIGURES 1–2, 11, 12View FIGURES 11–12, 20, 21View FIGURES 13–21, 29, 30View FIGURES 22–30): distinctly narrower than pronotum in both sexes; densely and slightly confluently punctured, punctures small and shallow, intervals dull and microsculptured, with close recumbent scales; narrow impunctate smooth area around antennal cavities; flat between eyes and flat between antennae; eyes small, slightly laterally prominent or not extending laterally beyond temples (some females), separated by about 4.5 eye widths (male) or about 5.5 eye widths (female); gena at shortest point about 0.6x eye length (both sexes); genal lobe about 0.65x shortest length of gena; antennae 3 (male) – 4 (female) x socket diameters apart; antennae 0.65–0.75x body length (male), or 0.55–0.65x body length (female); antennomeres 1–7 dull, 8–11 duller; antennomeres 1 and 3–11 elongate, 2 transverse to quadrate, about 0.6 length of 1, 0.3–0.35x length of 3; relative lengths of antennomeres, with 3 longest and 7 next in both sexes, and most middle segments of similar length: male: 2, <1, <4=6, <5=8=9=10, <11, <7, <3; female: 2, <1, <6=8=9=10, <4=5=11, <7, <3; clypeus with 2–3 pairs of long subapical setae; clypeal anterior margin deeply concave, usually less so in female; male apical maxillary palpomere slightly variable in width from elongate-ovoid to almost cylindrical, with truncate apex.

Thorax ( Figs 1View FIGURES 1–2, 11, 12View FIGURES 11–12, 20, 21View FIGURES 13–21, 29View FIGURES 22–30, 33View FIGURES 31–34, 36View FIGURES 35–37): sides almost vertical, no clear distinction between dorsal and ventral (hypomeral) areas of pronotum; pronotal punctures and scales similar to head, with dense shallow punctures and ridged dull interspaces, and close recumbent scales; pronotum slightly wider than long, width 0.95x length, greatest width at lateral tubercles and sides straight to weakly sinuate in posterior half; anterior angles anteriorly projecting, about 45°; anterior margin produced, truncate or rounded at middle; lateral sides with 1–2 small sharp tubercles in apical half; basal margin truncate or weakly convex; anterior edge of pronotum with transverse partly confluent row of shining tubercles; disc unevenly surfaced, with shallow concavities at sides and middle and small postmedian swelling; hypomeron and prosternum densely punctured and pubescent, as pronotum, except hypomeral lobe rugose and glabrous; scutellum closely punctured and scaled, forming a golden spot; elytra irregularly scaled, mostly sparse but usually forming pale flecks laterally; elytron with small tubercles and occasionally short ridges when these coalesce; pattern of tubercles, at minimum (some Victorian specimens) with a short ridge halfway between humerus and suture, a low tubercle at middle near suture, two elongate low tubercles in parallel on edge of apical elytral declivity, 4 minute tubercles on declivity; pattern of tubercles, at maximum (some central NSW and northern specimens) with minimum arrangement plus about five additional tubercles between humerus and suture, about 5 additional tubercles from middle to apical elytral declivity, and several small tubercles laterally; northern specimens generally with the minimum set more prominent and often elongate; elytral disc shallowly arcuately depressed in basal half, posterior to humerus, and concave at sides of middle; elytral punctures large, 1.5– 2x pronotal puncture diameters, and sparse, separated by 1–1.5x diameters, interspaces dull, microsculptured; discal elytral punctures with two small shining tubercles laterally on rim; elytral apex narrowly truncate, or rounded; epipleuron finely and shallowly punctured, with scale-like pubescence; mesoventrite punctured as prosternum; metepisternum and metaventrite dull and microsculptured, closely punctured and scaled, except middle impunctate and shining; metatibiae with deep regular lateral longitudinal grooves, defining keels, short and robust; bases of tarsomeres 1–3 depressed; protarsomeres 1–3 much broader at base in male (almost quadrate) than female.

Abdomen ( Figs 36, 37View FIGURES 35–37, 50, 51View FIGURES 43–51, 60, 61View FIGURES 52–61, 68View FIGURES 62–68, 75, 76): ventrite I shiny, weakly or not microsculptured, closely and shallowly punctured; II –IV similar to ventrite I but more closely punctured, and shallowly microreticulate and dull at sides; ventrite V duller, microreticulate; ventrites scaled, scales tending to clump together either side of midline, erect setae only present on apical margin of ventrite V; apex of ventrite V narrowly truncate in male, more rounded in female; apex of penis contracted to blunt mucronate tip in dorsal view, apex thick and short in lateral view, reflexed at about 90°; tegminal keel deep and strongly sinuate in lateral view; female sternite VIII basal apodeme short and narrow, apical sclerotised area roughly triangular but slightly expanded at sides, longer than wide, apex deeply concave; apex of gonocoxite with 1–2 conspicuous setae; stylus only slightly elongate; median ventral sclerite elongate, only lateral margins distinctly sclerotised; spermatheca falcate, with rounded tip, and with tightly coiled duct.

Notes. Cheiloxena westwoodii  is the most widespread and frequently collected species of the genus and also the most variable. Reid (1992) suggested that there were two geographically defined forms, separated by a gap of about 200 km in central eastern NSW. That gap is here reduced to about 125 km but is still evident ( Fig. 78View FIGURE 78). The northern form is generally more strongly sculptured on the elytra, with larger and more numerous tubercles or ridges. This form exists as far south as Robertson (34.59°S), from where there is a single specimen with numerous prominent elytral tubercles. Southern specimens, from Mount Bibbenluke (35.26°S) southwards, are generally smoother, without conspicuous tubercles, but a few specimens in the south are as tuberculate as the least tuberculate northern specimens. Another character that separates the records geographically is the density of setae on the ventral surfaces of the femora. Specimens from Barrington Tops (32.03°S) northwards have the femoral ventral surfaces densely covered in pale grey scales, whereas specimens from Culoul Range (33.23°S) southwards have increasingly sparser setae, with the femoral ventral surface visible. Other variable features include shape of elytral apices, shape of male maxillary palpi and convexity of female eyes, but these features do not vary geographically. There are no consistent genitalic differences between these populations or forms therefore we prefer to treat all as a single variable species.

The distribution of Cheiloxena westwoodii  almost overlaps with all other species, from southern Victoria to southeastern Queensland ( Fig. 78View FIGURE 78). Within this range it is associated with eucalypt woodland and forest. Several adults of C. westwoodii  were collected on Astrotricha latifolia  ( Araliaceae  ) at Kuringai Chase National Park and caged for two weeks with this plant, but failed to reproduce, although they fed on the foliage. A specimen was also collected on Astrotricha ledifolia  in the Brindabella Ranges, ACT. The host plants are probably various species of Astrotricha  , but it has also been collected from eucalypts and from a "fern-like shrub somewhat similar to Lomatia  ". The species has been photographed at several sites in Victoria, including Cambarville ( Monaghan 2018), Dandenong Ranges ( Monaghan 2018), Garfield (Lagerway 2016a), Powelltown ( Monaghan 2018) and Reefton ( Monaghan 2018).

Adults are occasionally attracted to ultraviolet light.


Royal Botanic Gardens, National Herbarium of New South Wales














Cheiloxena westwoodii Baly, 1860

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

Cheiloxena westwoodii Baly, 1860 : 255

Baly, 1860 : 255