Cheiloxena aitori, Reid & Beatson, 2018

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: 509-511

publication ID

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Cheiloxena aitori

sp. nov.

Cheiloxena aitori   sp. nov.

( Figs 3 View FIGURES 3–6 , 13 View FIGURES 13–21 , 22 View FIGURES 22–30 , 31 View FIGURES 31–34 , 43 View FIGURES 43–51 , 52 View FIGURES 52–61 , 62 View FIGURES 62–68 , 69, 77 View FIGURE 77 )

Material examined. Types : Holotype: Ƌ/ 30°29’S 152°25’E Point Lookout area New England NP 16–18.xi.1990 A. Calder ( ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Paratypes (7): ♂ / Berarngutta picnic area, New England NP, mv light   , 1.xii.2016, R de Keyzer, A. Scott & A. Sundholm (AMS); ♂ / Ebor xii.1939 Colonel Morisset / (AMS); ♂, ♀ / Little Styx R., nr Ebor NSW ii.1972 T. E. Bellas / Cheiloxena   ? frenchi Blbn det B. P. Moore / ( ANIC); ♀ / New England NP   , 3–4.i.1966 CN Smithers (AMS); 2♂ */ 30°29’S 152°25’E Point Lookout area New England NP 16–18.xi.1990, T. A. Weir, sweeping foliage ( ANIC). GoogleMaps  

Diagnosis. Cheiloxena aitori   is distinguished by: upper and lower surfaces scaled; anterior margin of clypeus truncate; pronotum with almost parallel paired ridges; hypomeral lobe smooth, without scales; apical half of elytra conspicuously tuberculate with largest tubercles adjacent to each other and arranged in a transverse row.

Description. Length: male 9–10.5 mm (Holotype: 10 mm), female 11–12 mm; body moderately convex in profile, length about 3x height; colour black, except tubercles and ridges may be dark reddish-brown, and maxillary and labial palpi reddish-brown; almost entirely clothed with adpressed white to cream scale-like setae (length 3– 4x width), not distinctly variegated in colour, setae not thinner on depressed areas of pronotum and elytra, thinner on anterior of clypeus, apices of mandibles, legs, apex of abdominal ventrite V, and antennomeres 1–7, absent from antennomeres 8–11 (with minute simple setae only); scale-like setae distributed as follows: almost evenly on head but clypeal margins glabrous; almost evenly on pronotum but slightly sparser on depressed areas and absent from apices of ridges; scutellum clothed with thin setae; elytra with irregular mosaic of dense patches and more sparsely setose areas, larger tubercles with elongate semi-erect creamy-white setae; ventral surfaces with dense white adpressed setae except thin and sparse on apical half of ventrite V, setae of appendages thin but dense (except antennomeres 8–11); 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 3 View FIGURES 3–6 , 13 View FIGURES 13–21 , 22 View FIGURES 22–30 ): distinctly narrower than pronotum in both sexes; densely and slightly confluently punctured, punctures small, intervals dull and microsculptured, except narrow impunctate shining frontoclypeal sutures, apical margin of clypeus, and margin of antennal cavities; convex between eyes, feebly convex between antennae; eyes slightly laterally prominent, separated by about 4 eye widths (male) or 4.5 eye widths (female); gena at shortest point about 0.4x eye length (male) to about 0.5x eye length (female); genal lobe 2x (male) to 1.25x (female) shortest length of gena; antennae 3x (male) to 4x (female) socket diameters apart; antennae about 0.65x body length (male), or about 0.55x body length (female); antennomeres 1–7 dull with shining apices, 8–11 matt; antennomeres 1 and 3–11 elongate, 2 slightly transverse 0.5–0.7x length of 1, 0.25–0.3x 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, <5=6, <11, <7, <3; female: 2, <1, <8=9, <4=10, <11, <6, <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 3 View FIGURES 3–6 , 13 View FIGURES 13–21 , 22 View FIGURES 22–30 , 31 View FIGURES 31–34 ): sides bulging laterally at middle, but without clear distinction between dorsal and ventral (hypomeral) areas of pronotum, except hypomeral lobe glabrous and impunctate; pronotal puncturation similar to head, except depressed parts of disc sparsely punctured; interspaces lightly microsculptured on disc, slightly shiny, densely microsculptured and dull at sides; pronotum slightly wider than long (measured at midline), length 0.95x width, greatest width usually at middle, sometimes also at anterior angles, 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, symmetrically convex in lateral view, sharper 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, except hypomeral lobe smooth and glabrous; scutellum punctured and setose, as pronotum; elytra irregularly scaled, forming a network of pale flecks; elytron conspicuously tuberculate, the variably sized shiny tipped tubercles arranged in approximately 4 clusters close to the suture, from base to apex, as follows: first (basal) with 1 large conical tubercle; second (median) with 1 large conical tubercle; third (subapical) with 2 large adjacent conical tubercles; fourth (apical) with 2–3 conspicuous but smaller tubercles, partly fused; small tubercles scattered at base and sides of elytron; elytral disc shallowly arcuately depressed in basal half, posterior to humerus, and concave at sides of middle; elytral punctures large, similar diameter to pronotal punctures but much deeper, and sparse, separated by 1–1.5x diameters; interspaces dull, densely microsculptured; elytral punctures on disc with two small shining tubercles laterally on rim; elytral apex narrowly truncate or concave; epipleuron finely and shallowly punctured with scale-like pubescence; mesoventrite punctured as prosternum; metepisternum and metaventrite dull, microsculptured, strongly punctured and clothed with recumbent scales, except midline impunctate and shining; metatibiae with shallow irregular lateral longitudinal grooves, thin and elongated; bases of tarsomeres 1–3 depressed, protarsomeres 1–3 slightly broader at base in male than female.

Abdomen ( Figs 43 View FIGURES 43–51 , 52 View FIGURES 52–61 , 62 View FIGURES 62–68 , 69): ventrite I shinier than thoracic ventrites but closely and strongly punctured and microreticulate; II –V densely punctured, shiny and shallowly microreticulate throughout; ventrite pubescence recumbent, scale-like, but much narrower on ventrite V, erect setae only present on apical half of ventrite V; apex ventrite V feebly convex in both sexes; apex of penis contracted to mucronate tip in dorsal view, apex thin, elongate and strongly curved in lateral view; tegminal keel shallowly sinuate in lateral view; female sternite VIII apodeme short and narrow, apical sclerotised area as long as wide, with angularly bilobed apex; 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 uncoiled duct.

Etymology. Named for Aitor, youngest son of one of the authors (M. Beatson).

Notes. Cheiloxena aitori   is endemic to the New England National Park area ( Fig. 77 View FIGURE 77 ), occuring in the cool temperate rainforest and wet heathland near the escarpment edge, at approximately 1500 m elevation. The placename Ebor on an old specimen probably refers to this town because it is the nearest settlement to the escarpment. Ebor is unlikely to be a collection locality as it is surrounded by quite different habitat (dry woodland). Faecal material in the gut of a dissected male largely consisted of densely packed fragmented trichomes. A specimen of this species was photographed on a leaf of Lomatia arborescens   ( Proteaceae   ) (identified by one of the authors, C. Reid) at the type locality, by Adam Ślipiński (pers. comm., February 2018). Cheiloxena aitori   has been collected at light.


Australian National Insect Collection


Royal Botanic Gardens, National Herbarium of New South Wales