Beetle taxonomy

Rhytiphora (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)

Rhytiphora is the largest Australian genus of longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae: Lamiinae), with a large Australian radiation comprising about 200 species. It is the most morphologically diverse clade of longhorn beetles, mostly medium-sized and often colourful. The genus is also known from a few species in New Guinea and SE Asia, their likely origin.

The current concept of the genus (encompassing many former genera, all poorly defined) by Slipinski and Escalona (2013) is supported by a single common trait: variously developed setose areas on the male abdomen, probably dispersing pheromones of unknown function. This trait is a putative apomorphy for Rhytiphora but has not been rigorously tested.

We aim to revise the taxonomy of Australian Rhytiphora, using morphological characters and molecular data to establish the monophyly and species boundaries of this diverse genus.



Jurassic compression fossils from Talbragar Fish Bed, Australia:

Ommatid beetle Rhopalomma stefaniae

Elateroid beetles Wongaroo amplipectorale and Beattieellus jurassicus

microscope photo