Tag Archives: Melobasis

Melobasis empyria Olliff

Fiery Jewel Beetle (Melobasis empyria)

The Fiery Jewel Beetle was described in 1889; it was endemic to Lord Howe Island, Australia.

The species reached a length of 1,2 cm; it was “Coppery green, shining; prothorax bright coppery, purplish on the disc; scutellum fiery copper; elytra coppery, with purple refelxions, irregularly striate-punctate, the third and fourth interstices obviously raised.
Head nearly flat in front, coarsely and very densely punctured. Prothorax at the base more than one-third broader than long, considerably narrowed in front, rather strongly and sparingly punctured on the disc, the punctuation at the sides much stronger and denser, the anterior margin slightly produced in the middle, its angles produced and rounded; the sides rounded; the posterior margin nearly straight. Scutellum excessively finely punctured. Elytra about twice as long as broad, coppery, inclining to fiery near the suture and about the middle, rather strongly and irregularly striate-punctate; the sides straight and nearly parallel for about two-thirds of their length, then denticulate, and narrowed to the apex. Underside bright coppery green, the sterna strongly and not very closely punctured, the abdomen with the punctuation somewhat obsolete. legs coppery green, finely punctured, the tarsi darker.
” [1]

The species has not been collected since the 1880s and is very likely extinct now. [2]



[1] Sidney Olliff: The insect fauna of Lord Howe Island. The Australian Museum memoir 2: 75-98. 1889
[2] Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW), Lord Howe Island Biodiversity Management Plan Appendices, Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW), Sydney 2007


edited: 26.04.2022