0111. Observations on the biology of the South African checkered beetle Aphelochroa sanguinalis (Westwood) (Coleoptera: Cleridae)

Jonathan R. Mawdsley, Hendrik Sithole


The checkered beetle Aphelochroa sanguinalis (Westwood) (Coleoptera: Cleridae) is found in savanna and woodland ecosystems of southern and eastern Africa. During surveys for insect floral visitors in the Skukuza Ranger District of Kruger National Park, South Africa, we encountered adults of Aphelochroa sanguinalis on flowers of two tree species, Acacia grandicornuta Gerstner and Acacia tortilis (Forsskal) Hayne (Fabaceae). These two tree species flower in the early rainy season (November-December) and have small white flowers in small round ball-shaped clusters. Adults of Aphelochroa sanguinalis were not found on flowers of 14 other tree species with different floral structures which were flowering at the same time as Acacia grandicornuta and Acacia tortilis. Predatory, reproductive, and defensive behaviors (including the presence of a chemical defense) are described for Aphelochroa sanguinalis based on field and laboratory observations.

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