Abstract

The genus Syllitus forms a small but extremely interesting group of the Cerambycidae, which on account of the small size and dull coloration of its members appears to be generally overlooked and neglected by collectors, and there is little doubt that systematic collecting would add considerably to the number of known species.

Although the insects are mostly of small size and sombre coloration when viewed with the naked eye, a microscopic examination reveals them to be of considerable beauty, diverse in the arrangement of the raised costae and the sculpture of the elytra.

The genus Syllitus was founded by Pascoe in 1858 (Trans. Ent. Soc. Lond. (N.S.), v, p. 24) for the reception of Stenoderus grammicus, S. deustus, and S. rectus, all of which had been described by Newman. Pascoe considered that these species were "so different, yet so closely allied to each other, that their separation as a distinct group is advisable. I propose for it, therefore, the name of Syllitus; technically it may be at once distinguished from Stenoderus by its large oblong entire eyes." Later, in 1862 (Journ. Ent., i, 5, April, 1862, p. 366), he amplified this diagnostic character, and stated that: "I proposed to separate, under the name of Syllitus, those species of Stenoderus with elevated longitudinal lines on the elytra, from the ordinary red and black ones which constituted the genus originally." Further, in 1864 (Trans. Ent. Soc. Lond., iii (3), 1864–69, p. 554–5), he added that, with one exception—S. albipennis, from Morty—the eyes were "coarsely granulate", a character which holds good for the known Australian species.

The affinities of Stenoderus and Syllitus are undoubtedly very close, and their separation is somewhat arbitrary, as is the case with other Cerambycid genera, yet they fall into two convenient and recognizable groups, so that the distinction may be permitted to remain on the ground of expediency and the lack of more satisfactory generic characters upon which the separation could be based.

 
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Bibliographic Data

Short Form
McKeown, 1937, Rec. Aust. Mus. 20(2): 108–116
Author
Keith C. McKeown
Year
1937
Title
Notes on Australian Cerambycidae. II. Notes on the genus Syllitus, with descriptions of new species
Serial Title
Records of the Australian Museum
Volume
20
Issue
2
Start Page
108
End Page
116
DOI
10.3853/j.0067-1975.20.1937.253
Language
English
Plates
plates xviii–xix
Date Published
27 August 1937
Cover Date
27 August 1937
ISSN
0067-1975
CODEN
RAUMAJ
Publisher
The Australian Museum
Place Published
Sydney, Australia
Subjects
INSECTA: COLEOPTERA
Digitized
13 May 2009
Available Online
16 July 2009
Reference Number
253
EndNote
/Uploads/Journals/17265/253.enw
Title Page
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File size: 97kB
Complete Work
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