Cheiloxena conani

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: 512-513

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Cheiloxena conani

sp. nov.

Cheiloxena conani  sp. nov.

( Figs 5 View Figure , 15 View Figure , 24 View Figure , 45 View Figure , 54 View Figure , 64 View Figure , 71, 77 View Figure )

Material examined. Types: Holotype: ♂*/ Rockhampton, HW Brown (AMS); Paratypes (4): f*/ Rockhampton, HW Brown (AMS); ♂*, ♀*/ Kroombit Tops, Northern escarp., 45k SSW Calliope, open for., 3–4.ii.1984, Monteith, Hagan & Yeates (QMB); f/ Qld 26°04’S 150°49’E Wonga Hills site 3, 520m 11.xii.2001 10257 Monteith, Cook & Wright mv light, vine scrub/ (QMB).

Diagnosis. Cheiloxena conani  is distinguished by: upper and lower surfaces scaled; anterior margin of clypeus deeply excavate; pronotum without dorsal ridges but with large lateral lobes; apical half of elytra without conspicuous tubercles; elytral surface without erect setae.

Description. Length: male 13–15.5 mm (Holotype: 13 mm), female 14–15.5 mm; body moderately convex in profile, length about 3x height; colour dull black, tarsi and antennae usually dark brown, maxillary palpi dark reddish-brown; entirely clothed with adpressed scale-like setae (length 3– 4x width), setae patchily distributed on elytra, thinner and sparser on appendages and apical ventrites; surface sculpture: head, pronotum and elytra dull, punctate and densely microsculptured, except shining apices of tubercles and ridges.

Head ( Figs 5 View Figure , 15 View Figure , 24 View Figure ): distinctly narrower than pronotum in both sexes, width 0.8x (male) or 0.7x (female) pronotal width; middle of vertex slightly elevated; densely punctured (separated by <1 diameter) except sparser on middle of vertex in two specimens (separated by 1–2 diameters); narrow impunctate smooth area around antennal cavities; slightly convex between eyes, but flat between antennae, without groove on vertex but midline smooth in two specimens; eyes small, elongate-reniform, strongly laterally prominent, separated by about 4 eye widths in both sexes; gena at shortest point about half eye length in both sexes; genal lobe about 1.5x shortest length gena; antennae 6–7 socket diameters apart; antennae about 0.7x body length (male), or about 0.6x body length (female); all antennomeres dull, 1–7 sparsely and coarsely setose, 8–11 densely and finely setose; antennomeres 1 and 3–11 elongate, 2 quadrate 0.5x length 1, <0.3x length 3, relative lengths of antennomeres with 3 longest and 11 next, in both sexes, and most middle segments of similar length: 2 shortest, <1, <6, <4=5=7, <8, <9=10, <11, <3; clypeus without long subapical setae; clypeal anterior margin semicircularly excavate; male apical maxillary palpomere elongate-ovate with truncate apex.

Thorax ( Figs 5 View Figure , 15 View Figure , 24 View Figure , 33 View Figure ): pronotal sides almost vertical in posterior half, no clear distinction between dorsal and ventral (hypomeral) areas of pronotum, but with roughly equilateral triangular extension just anterior to middle and 1–2 low tubercles on a ridge from this extension to anterior angles; pronotal disc irregularly surfaced, with pair of low shining tubercles anteriorly reaching anterior pronotal margin, midline depressed for anterior 2/3 but with low swelling posteriorly, sides deeply depressed; pronotal punctures large, close to dense, separated by 0.2–1.5 puncture diameters; pronotum with fairly evenly distributed scale-like setae, as head, interspaces dull and densely microreticulate; pronotum clearly transverse, width 1.3x length (male) to 1.4x (female), greatest width at lateral triangular lobe, sides concave behind this; anterior angles prominently anteriorly produced, 80°; anterior edge produced but concave at middle, basal edge weakly convex; hypomeron and prosternum densely punctured and pubescent as pronotum, except hypomeral lobe rugose and glabrous; scutellum punctured and apically shining, but more densely scaled than pronotum; elytra with scales irregularly distributed, forming a patchwork of glabrous and scaled areas, the latter sometimes denser forming pale spots; elytron tuberculate, but shiny tipped tubercles small not distinctly elevated, irregularly arranged in approximately 4 longitudinal rows, as follows: first (innermost) with 7–10 small tubercles; second with 5–8 small tubercles, usually with largest level with apex hind femur; third starting on inner surface of humerus, with 5–10 small tubercles; fourth starting on outer surface of humerus, with 5–8 small tubercles; elytral disc not or feebly transversely depressed in basal half, posterior to humerus; elytral punctures large (same as pronotal punctures) and deep, sparsely but evenly distributed, separated by 1.5– 2x diameters, interspaces dull, microsculptured; each elytral puncture with one small dull tubercle on anterior surface and small seta inside; elytral apex rounded; epipleuron finely and shallowly punctured with scale-like pubescence; mesoventrite punctured as prosternum; metepisternum and metaventrite dull, densely punctured and scaled, except shining and sparsely punctured midline; metatibiae with shallow irregular lateral longitudinal grooves, short and robust; bases of tarsomeres 1–3 not depressed; protarsomeres 1–3 equally narrow at base in both sexes.

Abdomen ( Figs 45 View Figure , 54 View Figure , 64 View Figure , 71): ventrites I–V entirely dull, microreticulate; I more closely and strongly punctured at middle (interspaces less than or equal to puncture diameters), sparsely punctured at sides (interspaces much greater than puncture diameters); puncturation of II–IV similar to I; ventrite V densely and rugosely punctured; ventrite pubescence recumbent and scale-like, fine erect setae only present on apical margin of ventrite V; apex of ventrite V truncate in male, with thickened edge, convex in female; apex of penis contracted to mucronate tip in dorsal view, apex thick and short in lateral view; tegminal keel shallowly convex in lateral view; female sternite VIII apodeme short and narrow, apical sclerotised area triangular, about as long as wide, apex truncate; setae at apex of gonocoxite short and inconspicuous; stylus elongate, length twice width; median ventral sclerite elongate-triangular, distinctly sclerotised; spermatheca falcate, acutely tipped, with simple uncoiled duct.

Etymology. Named for Conan, eldest son of M. Beatson.

Notes. Cheiloxena conani  has been collected from two upland localities in central and south Queensland, Kroombit Tops and Wonga Hills ( Fig. 77 View Figure ). Kroombit Tops, an isolated low massif (930 m elevation), is unusual for its relatively temperate flora and fauna at 24° S ( Monteith 1986). The old specimens labelled ‘Rockhampton’ by Brown may have been collected at Kroombit Tops (115 km south of Rockhampton) or possibly in the lower elevation hills 50 km south of Rockhampton (maximum elevation 746m) (G. Monteith, pers. com. 2013). The other locality, Wonga Hills, is a plateau at about 300 m elevation with low hills up to 550 m elevation, with large blocks of vine-thicket rainforest and eucalypt forest. The Wonga Hills site is 185 km south of Kroombit Tops. The two most recently collected specimens were at light, in vine thicket and open forest, in December and February.