Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory




Regional Maps

Subfamily Spilopyrinae Chapuis, 1874


The subfamily Spilopyrinae was only recently elevated to this rank from a tribe in the Eumolpinae (Reid 2000). It comprises eight genera that had been placed in four subfamilies (Crowson 1955; Seeno & Wilcox 1982). These genera lack unifying adult apomorphies and it was only discovery and description of the larvae (Jerez 1995; Reid 2000) that allowed a rigorous revision of the group. Recognition of the subfamily is supported by molecular studies, and all evidence places it as sister to one or more of the subfamilies Cryptocephalinae, Eumolpinae, Lamprosomatinae and Synetinae (Reid 2000; Gomez-Zurita et al. 2007; Gomez-Zurita et al. 2008).

The adults are large (5-25mm) and either brightly coloured green or dull brown. They are similar to large Eumolpinae, with antennae inserted far apart and well above the mouth, long genae, mandible inner face lacking large prostheca, closed procoxal cavities, two cubito-anal wing cells and vaginal pouches present. However, all Australian species have metendosternite lateral arms broadly lobed, papillate tarsal adhesive setae, two basal ventrites at least partly fused and simply curved penis (Reid & Beatson 2010a, b). Larvae of Australian genera are quite unlike those of Eumolpinae and similar to Chrysomelinae: external feeding without covering of excrement, frons elongate triangular, labrum small and not freely articulated to clypeus, 5 pairs of stemmata, dorsal spiracles on abdominal segment 8, which is extensively sclerotised.

The biology of the the Australian species is largely unknown (Reid 2000). Spilopyra sumptuosa lays a single egg, coated in faecal material, on a leaf; its hosts include Cupaniopsis and Guioa (Sapindaceae) (Reid & Beatson 2010b). Cheiloxena species are associated with Astrotricha (Araliaceae) and Eucalyptus (Myrtaceae) (Reid 1992). The larva of Macrolema, has a thickened truncate abdominal apex, possibly used for plugging a burrow (Reid & Beatson 2010a).
The Australian fauna includes 22 described species in five genera, of which Allsortsia, Cheiloxena and Richmondia are endemic (Reid 1992, 2000; Reid & Beatson 2010a, b). All species of Macrolema and Spilopyra have been revised (Reid & Beatson 2010a, b).

Descriptions and illustrations of four Australian genera are available on the web (Reid & Smith 2003).


General References

Gomez-Zurita, J., Hunt, T., Kopliku, F. & Vogler, A. P. 2007. Recalibrated tree of leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae) indicates independent diversification of angiosperms and their host herbivores. PLoS ONE (Public Library of Science) 2(4): 1-8

Gomez-Zurita, J., Hunt, T. & Vogler, A. P. 2008. Multilocus ribosomal RNA phylogeny of the leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae). Cladistics 23: 1-17

Jerez, V. 1996. Biology and phylogenetic remarks of the subantarctic genera Hornius, Stenomela and Dictyneis (Chrysomelidae: Eumolpinae). pp. 239-258 in Jolivet, P.H. A. & Cox, M.L. (eds). Chrysomelidae Biology, Volume 3. General Studies. Amsterdam : Academic Publishing.

Reid, C.A.M. 1992. Revision of the genus Cheiloxena Baly (Coleoptera: Chyrsomelidae: Eumolpinae). Memoirs of the National Museum of Victoria, Melbourne 53(1): 101-114

Reid, C.A.M. 2000. Spilopyrinae Chapuis: a new subfamily in the Chrysomelidae and its systematic placement (Coleoptera). Invertebrate Taxonomy 14: 837-862

Reid, C.A.M. & Beatson, M. 2010a. Revision of the Australo-Papuan genus Macrolema Baly (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Spilopyrinae), with description of a new genus. Zootaxa Monograph 2486: 1-60 [Date published 27 May 2010]

Reid, C.A.M. & Beatson, M. 2010b. Revision of the Australo-Papuan genus Spilopyra Baly (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Spilopyrinae). Zootaxa 2692: 1-32

Reid, C.A.M. & Smith, K. 2003. Key to the Spilopyrinae of New South Wales. Australian Museum.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
23-Mar-2012 23-Mar-2012 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)