Calosoma (Australodrepa) schayeri Erichson, 1842

Calosoma schayeri Erichson, 1842: 122; (described from Tasmania) unspecified number of specimens, no repository given.
Calosoma Curtisi Hope, 1845: 104; (described from Adelaide) holotype in Hope Department Entomology, Oxford University, Oxford (https://biodiversity.org.au)
Calosoma grandipenne Laporte de Castelnau, 1867: 13; (described from Melbourne) holotype in Museum of Victoria, Melbourne (https://biodiversity.org.au)
Calosoma schayeri Breuning, 1927: 159
Calosoma (Australodrepa) grandipennis Lapouge, 1932: 408
Calosoma (Australodrepa) schayeri Lapouge, 1932: 408
Australodrepa schayeri Jeannel, 1940: 74
Calosoma (Calosoma) cyaneoventre Mandl, 1954: 159; (type locality: Neue Holland) holotype ♀ in Naturhistorischen Museum Wien.

Length 20-26 mm. In most cases, C. schayeri is easily identified by the stocky shape and by the color of the upper body golden-green uniform and by the ventral side reddish-brown with faint metallic luster. Moreover, in comparison with C. oceanicum, it always presents a stronger and deeper punctuation of the striae, easily detectable with the unaided eye, and the articles of maxillary palps are shorter. In the males the basal article of the anterior tarsi is hairless or at most very scarcely hairy and the aedeagus has a relatively short apex and a ligula with a truncated end.
In 1954 Mandl described Calosoma (Calosoma) cyaneoventre, based on a specimen ♀ generically coming from Australia ( "Neue Holland"). In the original description, it has been compared to C. schayeri, of which, in our opinion, most probably is an individual variation. In fact, it should differ from C. schayeri for several minor characteristics (less protruding mental tooth, sculpture of elytra more pronounced) and for the color of the ventral side metallic blue-green with purple reflexion, instead of reddish-brown with faint metallic luster, but all these characteristics can also be found, although rarely, in single individuals inside the typical populations. Very rarely melanic specimens can be found, one of these, without locality label, was identified by Roeschke (1900a: 72) in the collections of the Natural History Museum of London
C. schayeri occupies whole Australia, except its far north part, and whole Tasmania (including the islands of Bass Strait).

Examined specimens and literature’s data :
Australia. Australian Capital Territory: Camberra (SB), Tarcoon (Breuning, 1927: 160), Aranda (www.flickr.com/); New South Wales: Tamworth (SB), Cabramatta (EM, SB), Ballina (EM), Newcastle, Cundletown, Cobar, Tinonee, Coonamble (www.inaturalist.org), Tinonee, Lightning Ridge, Pilliga Scrub, 15km WNW of Narrandera, 40km East of Tibooburra, Sidney, Uralla, Condobolin, Broken Hill, Dunedoo (www.gbif.org/), Warrumbungle National Park (www.alamy.com); Northern Territory: Yuendumu 650 m (EM), Alice Springs (SB), Barkly, Tennant Creek, Central Desert (http://spatial.ala.org.au), Henbury Station, Darwin (www.gbif.org/), Uluru-Kata Tjuta N.P. (www.inaturalist.org); Queensland: Central Queensland (SB), Gayndah (Breuning, 1927: 160), Paroo river (Breuning, 1927: 160), Richmond (SB ex coll. VV), Townsnville (Hawkeswood, 1992: 5), Charter Towers, Roma, Longreach, 13km N of Cunamulla, 15 miles SW of Urandangi, Rockhampton (www.gbif.org/), St. George env (www.entomologiitaliani.net), Maleny, Mungindi, Woleebee, Emerald, Quilpie, Winton (www.inaturalist.org); South Australia: Ganthaume bay (Breuning, 1927: 159), Adelaide (Breuning, 1927: 159), Coopers Creek (Breuning, 1927: 159), Finke river (Breuning, 1927: 159), Pandie Pandie (www.gbif.org/), Ingomar, Bungaree, Glendambo (www.inaturalist.org); Tasmania: Flinders island (Breuning, 1927: 160, www.gbif.org/), King island (Breuning, 1927: 160), Hobart (http://spatial.ala.org.au); Victoria: Chelsea, Cohuna, Merrimu, Murray-Sunset, Melbourne, Upper Ferntree Gully, Nhill (www.inaturalist.org), South Gippsland, Wilsons Promontory (http://spatial.ala.org.au), Doncaster (MNHN), Brighton, Mallee District, Wodonga (www.gbif.org/); Western Australia: Fremantle (Breuning, 1927: 159), Perth (Jeannel, 1940: 74), Wagin, Northcliffe, East Fremantle, Geraldton, Singleton, Amelup, Esperance, Bruce Rock, Yanchep, Gosnells (www.inaturalist.org), Broome, Exmouth, Carnarvon, Middalya, Wiluna, Shark Bay (http://spatial.ala.org.au), Neergabby, Mandurah, Lochada, Lake Carnegie, Mt. Magnet, Carnarvon, Ashburton River (www.gbif.org/).

Notes: The species has been named after the German born Adolphus Schayer that lived and collected insects in North West Tasmania between 1831 and 1843, when he worked as superintendent of the Woolnorth station for the Van Diemen's Land Company.
Calosoma schayeri easily adapts to different habitats, as forest and urban gardens. It is attracted to street lights even in Melbourne and other Australian cities. Brightly lit shopping centres are also frequently the target of crowds of these beetles.
It is winged and, feeding on caterpillars, its populations increase dramatically in response to abundant nuctuid larvae (armyworms) induced by favourable seasons. Active individuals were captured during the southern wet season from September to May.

Calosoma (Australodrepa) shayeri
Erichson, 1842
Australia, New South Wales, Tamworth, 15.11.58
Calosoma (Australodrepa) shayeri
Erichson, 1842
Australia, New South Wales, Tamworth, 15.11.58
Calosoma (Australodrepa) shayeri
Erichson, 1842
(misnamed as Calosoma shayeri var australe Hope)
Australia, Central Queensland, Doncaster
(coll. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris)
Calosoma (Australodrepa) shayeri
Erichson, 1842
(misnamed as Calosoma shayeri var australe Hope)
Australia, Central Queensland, Doncaster
(coll. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris)
Calosoma (Australodrepa) shayeri
Erichson, 1842
Australia, Central Queensland, I.2002, Local collector

updated May 9 2021

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