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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 27(4)

The Meloidae (Coleoptera) of Australasia: a generic review, descriptions of new taxa, and a challenge to the current definition of subfamilies posed by exceptional variation in male genitalia

M. A. Bologna A D, F. Turco B and J. D. Pinto C

A Dipartimento di Scienze, Università Roma Tre, Viale G. Marconi 446, 00146 Roma, Italy.
B Queensland Museum, Natural Environments Program, Entomology, PO Box 3300, South Brisbane, Qld 4101, Australia.
C Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.
D Corresponding author. Email: marcoalberto.bologna@uniroma3.it

Invertebrate Systematics 27(4) 391-427 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/IS12054
Submitted: 12 July 2012  Accepted: 4 April 2013   Published: 30 August 2013

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The seven Australasian genera of blister beetles (Coleoptera : Meloidae : Nemognathinae) are reviewed. Included are a key to genera, generic synopses and descriptions of two new genera of Nemognathini, Australozonitis and Pulchrazonitis, as well as a new monotypic tribe Palaestrini, which features a bauplan of male genitalia unique not only to the subfamily Nemognathinae but to the entire family. The genus Palaestra is redefined to include several Australasian, Asian and African species previously assigned to Zonitis. Exceptional variation of male genitalia encountered in the Palaestrini challenges current subfamily definitions, which are partly based on male genitalic structure and correlated sexual behaviour. Generic synopses include synonyms, type species, number of species, geographic distribution, significant references on taxonomy, life history and morphology, and additional notes. Forty-six new combinations are proposed for species previously in Zonitis. Distribution and relationship of tribes within the Nemognathinae, as well as the biogeography of the Australasian Meloidae are outlined and discussed.

Additional keywords: biogeography, taxonomy, new tribe, new genera, key to genera, Australia, New Guinea, New Caledonia, Pacific Islands.


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