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The Meloidae (Coleoptera) of Australasia: A generic review, descriptions of new taxa, and a challenge to the current definition of subfamilies posed by exceptional variation in male genitalia

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The seven Australasian genera of blister beetles (Coleoptera:Meloidae: Nemognathinae) are reviewed. Included are a key to genera, generic synopses and descriptions of two new genera of Nemognathini, Australozonitis and Pulchrazonitis, as well as a new monotypic tribe Palaestrini, which features a bauplan of male genitalia unique not only to the subfamily Nemognathinae but to the entire family. The genus Palaestra is redefined to include several Australasian, Asian and African species previously assigned to Zonitis. Exceptional variation of male genitalia encountered in the Palaestrini challenges current subfamily definitions, which are partly based on male genitalic structure and correlated sexual behaviour. Generic synopses include synonyms, type species, number of species, geographic distribution, significant references on taxonomy, life history and morphology, and additional notes. Forty-six new combinations are proposed for species previously in Zonitis. Distribution and relationship of tribes within the Nemognathinae, as well as the biogeography of the Australasian Meloidae are outlined and discussed. © 2013 CSIRO.

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