Brullea

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Brullea antarctica
Brullea antarctica from Castlecliff Beach, Whanganui, New Zealand.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Adephaga
Family: Carabidae
Genus: Brullea
Castelnau, 1867
Species: B. antarctica
Binomial name
Brullea antarctica
Castelnau, 1867

Brullea antarctica is a carnivorous carabid beetle, the only species in its genus,[1] that burrows in sand above the high tide mark on New Zealand beaches.

Description[edit]

Brullea antarctica is large (25 mm), shiny, and black, with a distinct "waist" or narrowing between thorax and abdomen, like the related genus Mecodema.[2] Indeed, recent DNA analysis places it within that genus, a sister group to Mecodema curvidens; its distinctive differences in body shape may be adaptations to burrowing in sand.[3]

Brullea's legs are well-adapted for digging, with expanded coxa, femur, and tibia: all tibia are greatly expanded at their distal ends, and the middle and hind pairs are also strongly curved.[4] Brullea has short antennae, large curved mandibles, and a rather boxy shape in contrast to the longer more elegant Mecodema. Its larval form was unknown for some time, and was first described in 1978.[5][6]

Distribution[edit]

Brullea is found in the supralittoral or splash zone of sandy beaches around the New Zealand coast, underneath logs or stones, hiding in the sand during the day and emerging at night to feed.[7][8] It was described by Hudson as "usually rare",[7] but is a secretive burrowing beetle, and occasionally is discovered in reasonable numbers.[9] It was rediscovered by schoolchildren on the Whanganui coast in 2006 after not being recorded for many years.[10]

Brullea antarctica has been recorded being heavily preyed on by katipo spiders,[9] and it may be threatened by the introduced South African spider Steatoda capensis, either as a predator or competitor.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Brullea Castelnau, 1867". Carabidae of the World. 2011. Retrieved 24 Jun 2011. 
  2. ^ Britton, Everard B. (1949). "The Carabidae (Coleoptera) of New Zealand: Part III—A Revision of the Tribe Broscini". Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand. 77 (4): 533–581. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  3. ^ Goldberg, Julia; Knapp, Michael; Emberson, Rowan M.; Townsend, J. Ian; Trewick, Steven A. (2014). "Species Radiation of Carabid Beetles (Broscini: Mecodema) in New Zealand". PLoS ONE. 9 (1): e86185. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086185. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3900486Freely accessible. PMID 24465949. Retrieved 2016-03-03. 
  4. ^ Roig-Juñent, Sergio (2000). "The subtribes and genera of the tribe Broscini (Coleoptera: Carabidae): cladistic analysis, taxonomic treatment, and biogeographical considerations". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 255: 1–90. doi:10.1206/0003-0090(2000)255<0001:tsagot>2.0.co;2. 
  5. ^ Harris, A. C. (1978). "The larva of Brullea antarctica (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Broscinae)". New Zealand Entomologist. 6 (4): 401–405. doi:10.1080/00779962.1978.9722304. Retrieved 2016-03-07. 
  6. ^ Harris, A. C. (1980). "The larva of Brullea antarctica (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Broscinae): note". New Zealand Entomologist. 7 (2): 174–175. doi:10.1080/00779962.1980.9722369. Retrieved 2016-03-07. 
  7. ^ a b Hudson, George Vernon (1934). New Zealand Beetles and Their Larvae. Wellington: Ferguson and Osborn. pp. 33–34. 
  8. ^ Brooks, Paul (27 April 2016). "Collect beetles for museum study". Wanganui Midweek. Retrieved 2 May 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Bull, R. M. (1959). "A note on the occurrence of Brullea antarctica Castelnau (Coleoptera: Carabidae) at Otaki Beach". New Zealand Entomologist. 2 (4): 9. doi:10.1080/00779962.1959.9722773. Retrieved 2016-03-07. 
  10. ^ Beautrais, Margie (13 February 2012). "Conservation: Seaweek tribute to national treasure". Wanganui Chronicle. Retrieved 7 March 2016. 
  11. ^ Gardner-Gee, Robin; Graham, Sharen; Griffiths, Richard; Habgood, Melinda; Heiss Dunlop, Shelley; Lindsay, Helen (2007). Motuora Native Species Restoration Plan (PDF). Auckland: Department of Conservation & Motuora Restoration Society. p. 89.