Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 26 October 2019 | 11(13): 14780–14783



First record of longhorn beetle Calothyrza margaritifera (Cerambycidae: Lamiinae: Phrynetini) from western India


Vishwas Deshpande 1 & Hemant V. Ghate 2


1 Department of Zoology, Yeshwantrao Chavan Institute of Science,  Behind Collector Office, Sadar Bazar, Satara, Maharashtra 415001, India.

2 Post-Graduate Research Centre, Department of Zoology, Modern College of Arts, Science& Commerce, Shivajinagar, Pune, Maharashtra 411005, India.

1, 2 (corresponding author)




doi:   |  ZooBank:


Editor: Eduard Vives, Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona, Terrassa, Spain. Date of publication: 26 October 2019 (online & print)


Manuscript details: #5194 | Received 01 July 2019 | Finally accepted 07 October 2019


Citation: Deshpande, V. & H.V. Ghate (2019). First record of longhorn beetle Calothyrza margaritifera (Cerambycidae: Lamiinae: Phrynetini) from western India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 11(13): 14780–14783.


Copyright: © Deshpande & Ghate 2019. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.  JoTT allows unrestricted use, reproduction, and distribution of this article in any medium by adequate credit to the author(s) and the source of publication.


Funding: Self funded.


Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.


Acknowledgements: Authors are thankful to Dan Heffern (USA), Norbert Delahaye (France) and Francesco Vitali (Luxembourg) for constant support, comments on images and for providing useful literature on Cerambycidae.  We thank Swapnil Boyane for help in photography and preparation of image plates.  We are grateful to the authorities of our respective institutions for encouragement and facilities for research work.



A  specimen of a beautiful cerambycid beetle, intact but in moribund state, was collected in Konkan area (Chiplun, Maharashtra, date 25.vii.2018) during monsoon of 2018, by the first author.  A similar specimen was only photographed, some 200km north, in Pen, Maharashtra a few years earlier (please see, but it was not collected; a blog on this species, Calothyrza margaritifera, was also floated on the internet.  Presence of the same species again in Western Ghats indicated presence of a viable population of this Cerambycidae member in Konkan area.  The purpose of this short note is to provide the first illustrated record of this species from western part of India.  Since the original description of the species is quite good, we are only adding some salient points and additional illustrations in support.

The beetle was studied under Leica SMZ 6 and photographed using Canon Powershot S50 as described by Sarode et al. (2018).

The recent specimen was identified as a member of the Lamiinae tribe Phrynetini (claws divaricate, scape without cicatrix, metasternum of normal length, metepisterna short) based on classification by von Breuning (1950).  It was further identified as Calothyrza margaritifera (Westwood, 1848) based on keys to the genera / species of Phrynetini by von Breuning (1937).

Original description of this beetle by Westwood (1848), under the genus Phryneta, is short but sufficient to identify this species as the colour illustration provided is equally perfect.  Westwood’s original diagnosis and description is given below verbatim.

In the words of Westwood: “Diagnosis: Phryneta of a velvety brown colour; the sides of the pronotum with two white lines and the elytra with six large irregular-shaped patches of a pearly white colour; the legs incrassated. Length of the body one and fourth of an inch.  Breadth of the base of the elytra one half inch.  Inhabits Nepal”.

Description: “The entire insect is clothed with a fine velvety pile, with the base of the elytra rather coarsely punctured.  The parts of the mouth are very short, the eyes strongly incised at the base of the antennae, which are rather short and thick, as are also the spines at the sides of the pronotum.  This part of the body has two white lateral lines on each side, and the elytra have six large pearly-white spots, of irregular form, besides two minute white dots. The sterna are simple; and the legs (especially the femora) are thickened.  The tips of the elytra are unarmed.  The specimens in my collection, presented to me by the Rev. F.W. Hope, are smaller than the one figured, and have the sides of the pronotum occupied by a large white oblong patch instead of two lines, as in Mr. Melly’s specimen”.

Description of our Chiplun specimen (female):

All measurements are in mm.  Total length 34; breadth at humeral angles 12; breadth of prothorax at spine 11; foreleg: femur 8, tibia, 8, tarsus 6.5; midleg: femur 8.5, tibia 9, tarsus 7; hindleg: femur 9, tibia 9, tarsus 8; antennal segments 1 to 11: 5, 1.5, 5.1, 4.6, 3, 2.5, 2.5, 2.4, 2,1.5, 1.7

Robust, medium size beetle with thick antennal segments and strong, incrassate femora.  Overall colour dark brown to blackish with a bilaterally symmetrical pattern of thick, yellowish white or white patches of pubescence dorsally; this includes lateral white lines on pronotum and large patches on elytra, which do not extend to lateral margin (Image 1 A, C; Image 2A).  Entire other body, dorsally and ventrally (Image 1B), uniformly dark brown and thickly covered with pubescence.

Head vertical, typical of Lamiinae; vertex convex above with a fine sulcus that extends up to base of antennae;  eyes large, deeply emarginated with lower lobe much large and more than twice long as gena (Image 1C,D,E), one of the character that separates this species from similar looking C. sehestedti (Fabricius).  Frons squarish, lower lobe of eye partly visible from front.  Mandibles strong, curved at tip; labium setose; clypeus leathery and pale brown. Antenniferous tubercles strong, elevated, slightly divergent, with shallow groove in between.  Antennae shorter than body, antennomeres moderately thick, scape without cicatrix.

In thorax pronotum broader than long, with maximum breadth only slightly less than base of elytra; distinct transverse grooves present near anterior and posterior boders; disc elevated, slightly convex above; lateral spine strong with broad base and blunt apex; a median longitudinal, smooth and shining sulcus present (Image 1C). Prosternum narrow, with rugulose, smooth and shining area near anterior margin; prosternal process slightly elevated between procoxae, flat in middle but its lateral borders elevated.  Prosternal process dilated behind procoxae with its distal part almost vertical.  Mesosternum with anterior border shining and smooth, with half-moon shaped shining and sunken area without pubescence; lateral parts rugulose punctate.  Mesosternal process broad, raised between mesocoxae and bifid at distal tip.  Metasternum broad, long, with median shining smooth sulcus (Image 1B).  Elytra elongate, slightly narrowed posteriorly, rounded at apex; each elytron sparsely but coarsely punctured near base but punctures very sparse and indistinct in posterior half, thick pubescence masking all punctures.  All legs rather short and robust; all femora incrassate or ‘claviform’, as stated by von Breuning.  Tarsal segments distinct, apical one more deeply cleft dorsally, with dense light brown setae underside; claws dark brown, divaricate (Image 2 B,C,D)

Abdomen, as seen ventrally, with first segment longest and broad, its anterior tip projecting forward between metacoxae.

The type locality of C. margaritifera is Nepal; von Breuning (1937) mentions ‘Cochinchina’ (sometimes spelled Cochin-China, a colony of former French Indochina, encompassing the Cochinchina region of present southern Vietnam); a recent checklist of longicorn beetles of India (Kariyanna et al. 2017) notes only C. sehestedtii (Fabricius, 1798) but not C. margaritifera.  A website on Cerambycidae, namely ‘Worldwide Cerambycoidea Photo Gallery’ Vitali (2019), however records ‘India, Nepal, Myanmar and Thailand’ as distribution of C. margartifera.  ICAR-National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources’ website also lists this beetle and an image (probably of other species) on their website, without locality data, (see ICAR 2013).  Apparently, there seems to be no published record of C. margaritifera from India.  C. sehestdtii has, however, been recently recorded from Madhya Pradesh (Majumder et al. 2015) and the distribution was stated as present in ‘Himalayas, Madhya Pradesh (Jabalpur) within India and Sri Lanka’.

This illustrated record should, therefore, be treated as the first authentic report of Calothyrza margaritifera from India.  It remains to be seen if this species has recently invaded or is present for a long time but was overlooked so far.


For images – click here




ICAR (2013). National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources. Insects in Indian Agroecosystems  Accessed October 2019 

Kariyanna, B., M. Mohan, R. Gupta & F. Vitali (2017). The checklist of longhorn beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) from India. Zootaxa 4345 (1): 1–317

Majumder, A., A. Raha, B. Mitra & K. Chandra (2015). New records of Cerambycidae (Insecta: Coleoptera) from Madhya Pradesh, India.  Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(15): 8242–8249.

Sarode, B.V., N.S. Joshi, P.P. Pansare & H.V. Ghate (2018). A record after 52 years, and additional description of the emesine assassin bug Emesopsis nubila (Hemiptera: ReduviidaeEmesinae) from western India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 10(9): 12282–12285;

von Breuning, S. (1937). Études sur les Lamiaires. Cinquième Tribu : Phrynetini Thomson.  Novitates Entomologicæ, 3ème sup. (46–49): 271–302.

Vitali, F. (2019). Worldwide Cerambycoidea Photo Gallery. Accessed Oct 2019

von Breuning, S. (1950). Considérations Préliminaires sur le classification des Lamiares. Longicornia 1: 25–28.

Westwood, J.O. (1848). The Cabinet of Oriental Entomology, William Smith, London, 88pp, Plates XLII.