Hesperophanes melonii Fancello & Cillo, 2012

Phytoecia antoniae

[Photo © David Navrátil, click on the picture for 4K resolution]

Hesperophanes melonii, an endemic species to Sardinia, has been described from Cagliari environs by Luca Fancello and Davide Cillo in 2012 [#10070;] Unlike the sister species Hesperophanes sericeus (Fabricius, 1787), which attacks mainly dead wood of various tree species, larva of H. melonii creates its gallery inside the wood of living host plant (Arthrocnemum fructicosum). Larvae feed mostly in the root system and rhizomes, but sometimes development takes place above-ground parts of the host plant (approx. to a height ca 10 cm above the ground level). Within the extensive formations of A. fructicosum present in the type locality, the beetle attacks a low percentage of plants, which are very difficult to identify as they looks perfectly intact and without obvious signs of suffering. The "locus typicus" habitat colonized by H. melonii is a complex of relatively small localities along the western bank of the Stagno di Cagliari, characterized by salty soil. The species is distributed in area with presence of brackish water and is dependent on halophilic plant population (Arthrocnemum fructicosum) [❖][✧]. More info about localities and biology of this species you cand find in the dedicated page.

Body length:♂♂ 12 - 19 mm / ♀♀ 15-20 mm
Life cycle:2 - 3 years [?]
Adults in:July - September
Host plant:Arthrocnemum fructicosum (Chenopodiacea)
Distribution:endemic species to Sardinia (Italy)

The depicted mounted specimens were collected in: ♂ - Parco Naturale Molentargius Saline (Cagliari province, Sardinia, Italy) on July 7, 2023; ♀ - Saline di Cagliari environs (Cagliari province, Sardinia, Italy) on June 24, 2015. The living beetle was reared from larva found in roots of Arthrocnemum fructicosum in S'Arena Scoada environs (20 km NW of Oristano, Oristano province, Sardinia, Italy) on March 3, 2019.

Collected by Roberto Rattu and Michele Carraretto

Fancello L. and Cillo D.:
Descrizione di una nuova specie di Hesperophanes della Sardegna (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae, Cerambycinae).
Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale Giacomo Doria, Genova 104: 253-264, 2012. [download pdf icon]

Cillo D.:
Nuovi dati corologici su Hesperophanes melonii Fancello & Cillo, 2012 (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae, Cerambycinae).
Naturalistica by Mediterraneaonline 2: 17-22, 2019. [download pdf icon]

Hesperophanes melonii
[Photo © Michele Carraretto]

SubfamiliaCerambycinae Latreille, 1802
TribusHesperophanini Mulsant, 1839
GenusHesperophanes Mulsant, 1839
SpeciesHesperophanes melonii Fancello & Cillo, 2012