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Biology and taxonomy of the genus Pyronota Bois. (Melolonthinae, Coleoptera) : a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Agricultural Science with Honours in the University of Canterbury [Lincoln College] | 1963

Brown, J. G.
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::060808 Invertebrate Biology , ANZSRC::060301 Animal Systematics and Taxonomy
The endemic Scarabaeid genus Pyronota boisduval contains small usually green beetles of diurnal habit commonly found on Leptospermum sp. bushes in the summer; hence their common name: Manuka beetles. The name Pyronota is derived from the Greek πυpos produced by fire or heat and ѵoτos tergum and refers to the metallic iridescent appearance of the dorsum. The genus has been revised by Given (1952) but no previous detailed studies of the biology and ecology of any species have been made. The aim of this study has been; first to review and revise past taxonomic work on the genus, wherever possible advancing knowledge of species to the level of gamma taxonomy; second to study and where possible compare some aspects of the biology and ecology of the three common and widely distributed species of the genus, Pyronota festiva (Fabr.), P. laeta (Fabr.), P. edwardsi Sharp. The two aspects of this work have been complementary. A full appreciation of the taxonomic status of the species under study could not have been realised without a knowledge of their behaviour in life as biological entities.