Stenodera caucasica, copyright B. G. Mot.

Belongs within: Tenebrionoidea.
Contains: Eletica, Nemognathini, Lyttini, Cerocomini, Eupomphini, Meloe, Epicauta, Mylabris, Hycleus.

The Meloidae, blister beetles, are a group of soft-bodied beetles whose larvae are often parasitoids on bees. The vernacular name of the group refers to the production by adults of caustic defensive chemicals, cantharidins. The tarsal claws are typically subtended by a ventral blade that may occasionally be reduced to a filiform appendix or ventral tooth adnate to the claw (Pinto & Bologna 2002).

Ontogeny is hypermetamorphic in most subfamilies (with the possible exception of Eleticinae) with active first-instar larvae seeking a suitable host. First instar larvae of Nemognathinae and Tetraonycinae (and a small number of Meloinae) are phoretic, attaching to hosts visiting flowers in order to be carried to their nest. Most Meloinae, in contrast, seek out their hosts directly without using phoresy (Bologna & Pinto 2002).

Characters (from Lawrence & Britton 1991): Elongate, moderately convex, soft-bodied beetles, often bicoloured with red or yellow and black or blue, sometimes uniformly red or metallic blue or violet. Body subglabrous or clothed with short, decumbent hairs; head strongly constricted behind eyes to form narrow neck; antenna 11-segmented, filiform or serrate. Prothorax usually narrowed anteriorly, lacking lateral carinae: fore coxae projecting, trochantin exposed; fore coxal cavities open internally and externally. Tarsal formula 5-5-4, tarsal claws pectinate with blade-like process beneath each claw. Abdomen with six ventrites. Larvae of three types: minute, fusiform, well-sclerotised triungulin with long legs; grub-like, ectoparasitic larva, lightly sclerotised, with short legs and hypognathous head: coarctate form with reduced mouth-parts and appendages.

<==Meloidae [Cantharidiae, Horiidae, Lyttidae, Tetraonycidae]
    |--Tetraonycinae [Tetraonycini]BP02
    |    |--MeloetyphlusPB02
    |    `--Tetraonyx Latreille 1805 [incl. Iodema Pascoe 1862, Jodema Gemminger & Harold 1870]PB02
    |         |--T. cubensisB90
    |         |--T. frontalisI92
    |         |--T. fulvusK63
    |         `--T. quadrimaculatus Fab. 1792FS90 [incl. T. cruciatusB90]
    |    |--EleticiniBP02
    |    |    |  i. s.: ‘Lytta’ elegantula Péringuey 1909BP02
    |    |    `--EleticaBP02
    |    |--DerideiniBP02
    |    |    |--Iselmeletica Kaszab 1966BP02
    |    |    |    `--*I. flabellicornis Kaszab 1966BP02
    |    |    |--Deridea Westwood 1875BP02
    |    |    |    |--*D. curculionides Westwood 1875BP02
    |    |    |    `--D. notata Thomas 1897 [incl. D. notata minor Kaszab 1960]BP02
    |    |    `--Iselma Haag-Rutenberg 1879BP02
    |    |         |--*I. ursus (Thunberg 1791) [=Meloe ursus]BP02
    |    |         |--I. brunneipes Haag-R. 1879K63, BP02
    |    |         `--I. pallidipennisMW15
    |    `--Morphozonitini [Ertliini]BP02
    |         |--Afrospasta Bologna 1995BP02
    |         |    `--*A. borana Bologna 1995BP02
    |         |--Ceriselma Borchmann 1942BP02
    |         |    `--*C. methneri Borchmann 1942BP02
    |         |--Steniselma Borchmann 1942BP02
    |         |    `--*S. brunnea Borchmann 1942BP02
    |         `--Morphozonitis Pic 1922 [incl. Ertlia Borchman 1942 non Aurivillius 1907, Ertliana Selander 1964]BP02
    |              |--*M. atripennis Pic 1922BP02
    |              `--*Ertlia’ fasciata Borchmann 1942 [=*Ertliana fasciata]BP02
    |--Nemognathinae [Zonitinae]B14
    |    |  i. s.: PalaestraBP02
    |    |           |--P. eucera Fairm. 1877M86
    |    |           |--P. platycera Fairm. 1880M86
    |    |           |--P. quadrifoveata Fairm. 1880M86
    |    |           |--P. rubripennisM86
    |    |           `--P. rufocincta Fairm. 1880M86
    |    |         SytarobrachysK63
    |    |--NemognathiniBP02
    |    |--Stenodera Eschscholtz 1818 [incl. Zonitides Abeille de Perrin 1880; Stenoderini]BP02
    |    |    |  i. s.: S. anatolica Frivaldsky 1884BP02
    |    |    |         S. djakonovi Aksentjev 1978BP02
    |    |    |         S. foveicollis (Fairmaire 1897)BP02
    |    |    |         S. oculifera (Abeille de Perrin 1880) [=*Zonitides oculifer]BP02
    |    |    |--S. (Stenodera) caucasica (Pallas 1782)B14, BP02 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |    `--S. (Stenoderina Aksentjev 1988)BP02
    |    |         |--S. (*S.) puncticollis (Chevrolat 1834)BP02, B14 [=Zonitis puncticollisBP02]
    |    |         `--S. (S.) palaestinaB14
    |    `--Horiini [Horiales, Horiinae]BP02
    |         |--Cissites Latreille 1804PB02
    |         |--Horia Fabricius 1787 [incl. Hoplozonitis Blackburn 1892]BP02
    |         |    |--*H. testacea (Fabricius 1871) [=Lymexylon testaceum; incl. H. fabriciana Betrem 1929]BP02
    |         |    |--H. maculata Sweder 1787FS90
    |         |    `--H. mira (Blackburn 1892)LB91, BP02 [=*Hoplozonitis miraBP02]
    |         `--Synhoria Kolbe 1897BP02
    |              |--*S. cephalotes (Olivier 1792) [=Horia cephalotes]BP02
    |              |--S. senegalensis (Lap. 1840)BP02
    |              `--S. testaceaK63
         |  i. s.: Spastonyx Selander 1954PB02
         |         Lyttomeloe Denier 1921PB02
         |    |--MeloeK63
         |    |--Oreomeloe Tan 1981BP02
         |    |    `--*O. spinulus Tan 1981BP02
         |    `--Physomeloe Reitter 1911BP02
         |         `--*P. corallifer (Germar 1818)BP02 [=Meloe coralliferG-PR05; incl. M. corallifer var. evae Flach 1907G-PR05]
         |    |--WagneronotaK63
         |    |--Denierota Kaszab 1959PB02
         |    |    `--D. kraatzi [=Pyrota kraatzi]K63
         |    `--Pyrota Dejean 1834PB02
         |         |--P. palpalisPB02
         |         `--P. quadrinervataPB02
         |    |--EpicautaMW15
         |    |--Denierella Kaszab 1952BP02
         |    |    `--*D. incompleta (Fairmaire 1896) [=Cantharis incompleta]BP02
         |    |--Linsleya MacSwain 1951PB02
         |    |    `--L. convexaPB02
         |    |--Psalydolytta Péringuey 1909 [incl. Gnathospastoides Fletcher 1914]BP02
         |    |    |--*P. lorigera (Gerstaecker 1854) [=Lytta lorigera]BP02
         |    |    |--P. fasciculata (Pic 1920)BP02
         |    |    |--P. laticornisK63
         |    |    |--‘Lytta’ rouxii Castelnau 1840 [=*Gnathospastoides rouxii]BP02
         |    |    `--P. sheffieldi (Pic 1909)BP02
         |    `--Cyaneolytta Péringuey 1909BP02
         |         |--*C. signifrons (Fahraeus 1870) [=Lytta signifrons]BP02
         |         |--C. crambeliBP02
         |         |--C. depressicornis (Lap. 1840)BP02
         |         |--C. granulipennis (Laporte de Castelnau 1840) [=Lytta granulipennis]G-PR05
         |         `--C. lepineyiBP02
              |--Semenovilia Kuzin 1954BP02
              |    `--*S. fischeri (Gebler 1847) [=Mylabris fischeri]K63
              |--Xanthabris Kaszab 1956BP02
              |    `--*X. baluchistana Kaszab 1956BP02
              |--Lydoceras Marseul 1870 [incl. Denierus Pic 1913, Deniorus (l. c.)]BP02
              |    |--*L. fasciata (Fabricius 1775) [=Mylabris fasciata]BP02
              |    `--L. stanleyana (Duvivier 1890) [=Zonabris (Mylabris) stanleyana]BP02
              |--Mimesthes Marseul 1872BP02
              |    |--*M. maculicollis Marseul 1872BP02
              |    `--M. karooensis Bologna 2000BP02
              |--Pseudabris Fairmaire 1894BP02
              |    |--P. przewalskyi (Dokhtouroff 1887)K63, BP02 (see below for synonymy)
              |    `--P. hingstoniBP02
              |--Paractenodia Péringuey 1904BP02
              |    |--*P. parva Péringuey 1904BP02
              |    `--P. damarensisK63
              |--Ceroctis Marseul 1870BP02
              |    |--*C. trizonata (Reiche 1865) [=Mylabris trizonata]BP02
              |    |--C. capensis (Linné 1767)BP02
              |    |--C. corynoidesK63
              |    |--C. exclamationis (Mars. 1872)BP02
              |    `--C. groendali (Billberg 1813)BP02
              |--Croscherichia Pardo Alcaide 1950 [incl. Lybicisca Kuzin 1954]BP02
              |    |--C. paykulli (Billberg 1813)G-PR05 (see below for synonymy)
              |    |--C. angulataK63
              |    |--C. gilvipes (Chev. 1838)BP02
              |    |--C. litigiosaK63
              |    |--C. sanguinolenta (Olivier 1811)B14, BP02 [=Mylabris sanguinolentaBP02, *Lybicisca sanguinolentaBP02]
              |    `--C. sonyae (Kaszab 1983) [=Mylabris (Gorrizia) sonyae]BP02
              `--Actenodia Laporte de Castelnau 1840 [incl. Rusadiria Pardo Alcaide 1954]BP02
                   |--*A. guttata Laporte de Castelnau 1840BP02
                   |--A. billbergi (Gyllenhal 1817)G-PR05 (see below for synonymy)
                   |--A. distincta (Chevrolat 1837) [incl. Coryna distincta var. andalusiaca Pic 1916]G-PR05
                   |--A. mirabilis Kaszab 1952BP02
                   |--A. perfuga (Dvorak 1993] [=Paractenodia perfuga]BP02
                   |--A. suturifera (Pic 1896)BP02
                   `--A. waziristanica Kaszab 1958BP02
Meloidae incertae sedis:
    |--T. assimilis Hope 1842M86
    |--T. rubricollis Hope 1842M86
    |--T. rufipennis Westw. 1841M86
    `--T. violacea Hope 1842M86
  Parameloe alatusK63
  Pycnoseus rubrofasciatusK63
  Spastica femoralisK63, B90 [=Lytta femoralisB90]
  Auphalia rugulosaR26
  Oteisa nigraR26

Nomen nudum: Oenas villiger Salvañá Comas 1870G-PR05

Actenodia billbergi (Gyllenhal 1817)G-PR05 [=Mylabris bilbergiG-PR05, Coryna billbergiG-PR05, Dices billbergiG-PR05, Hycleus bilbergiG-PR05, Mylabris (*Rusadiria) billbergiBP02, Zonabris bilbergiG-PR05]

Croscherichia paykulli (Billberg 1813)G-PR05 [=Mylabris paykuliiG-PR05; incl. M. circumflexa Chevrolat 1837G-PR05, *Croscherichia circumflexaBP02, Zonabris circumflexaG-PR05]

Pseudabris przewalskyi (Dokhtouroff 1887)K63, BP02 [=Zonabris przewalskyiBP02; incl. *P. tigriodera Fairmaire 1894BP02]

Stenodera (Stenodera) caucasica (Pallas 1782)B14, BP02 [=Meloe caucasicaBP02; incl. *S. sexpunctata Eschscholtz 1818BP02]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B90] Beauregard, M. 1890. Notes synonymiques suivantes relativement à quelques espèces de la tribu des vésicants. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France, 6e série 9: ccxii–ccxiii.

[BP02] Bologna, M. A., & J. D. Pinto. 2002. The Old World genera of Meloidae (Coleoptera): a key and synopsis. Journal of Natural History 36 (17): 2013–2102.

[B14] Bouchard, P. (ed.) 2014. The Book of Beetles: A lifesize guide to six hundred of nature’s gems. Ivy Press: Lewes (United Kingdom).

[C91] CSIRO. 1991. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 1. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[FS90] Fleutiaux, E., & A. Sallé. 1890. Liste des coléoptères de la Guadeloupe et descriptions d’espèces nouvelles. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France, 6e série 9: 351–484.

[G-PR05] García-París, M., & J. L. Ruiz. 2005. Bibliografía y registros Ibero-Baleares de Meloidae (Coleoptera) publicados hasta la aparición del “Catálogo sistemático geográfico de los coleópteros observados en la Península Ibérica, Pirineos propiamente dichos y Baleares” de J. M. de la Fuente (1933). Graellsia 61 (2): 225–255.

[I92] Imes, R. 1992. The Practical Entomologist. Aurum Press: London.

[K63] Kaszab, Z. 1963. Merkmale der Adaptation, Spezialisation, Konvergenz, Korrelation und Progression bei den Meloiden (Coleoptera). Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 9 (1–2): 135–175.

[LB91] Lawrence, J. F., & E. B. Britton. 1991. Coleoptera (beetles). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 2 pp. 543–683. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[M86] Masters, G. 1886. Catalogue of the described Coleoptera of Australia. Part IV. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 1 (2): 259–380.

[MW15] McKenna, D. D., A. L. Wild, K. Kanda, C. L. Bellamy, R. G. Beutel, M. S. Caterino, C. W. Farnum, D. C. Hawks, M. A. Ivie, M. L. Jameson, R. A. B. Leschen, A. E. Marvaldi, J. V. McHugh, A. F. Newton, J. A. Robertson, M. K. Thayer, M. F. Whiting, J. F. Lawrence, A. Ślipiński, D. R. Maddison & B. D. Farrell. 2015. The beetle tree of life reveals that Coleoptera survived end-Permian mass extinction to diversify during the Cretaceous terrestrial revolution. Systematic Entomology 40 (4): 835–880.

[PB02] Pinto, J. D., & M. A. Bologna. 2002. Meloidae Gyllenhal 1810. In: Arnett, R. H., Jr, M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley & J. H. Frank (eds) American Beetles vol. 2. Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea pp. 522–529. CRC Press.

[R26] Risso, A. 1826. Histoire naturelle des principales productions de l’Europe méridionale et particulièrement de celles des environs de Nice et des Alpes maritimes vol. 5. F.-G. Levrault: Paris.

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