Variation in the genus Ceroctis - Blister Beetles

Variation in the genus Ceroctis - Blister Beetles - Southern Africa : To illustrate the variation in background and patterns in the genus Ceroctis - Blister Beetles. Suggested by a comment by Beetledude: http://www.ispotnature.org/node/615488#comment-323585 - copied here: Variation in the genus Ceroctis

To illustrate the variation in background and patterns in the genus Ceroctis - Blister Beetles.

Suggested by a comment by Beetledude: http://www.ispotnature.org/node/615488#comment-323585 - copied here:

Variation in the genus Ceroctis

Ceroctis is a large and confusing genus that has never been revised. There are 28 Ceroctis species in the iSpot dictionary as of tonight, but I know that this list is incomplete. To collate the information for all named entities in order to make an identification will require the very revision that we sorely need. There are probably more names than species (i.e. synonymy).

I have not yet been able to find a genus-specific feature that would readily be visible on ordinary photographs -- let alone any such for species identifications! Most (all?) Ceroctis species are variable in terms of the detail of their colour patterns, and in those species that are not pure black-&-yellow, there is also variation in the amount and distribution of red or orange. Then I have a suspicion that the red, orange and yellow colour pigments deteriorate in dead, preserved specimens, such as those in the museum drawers I have here with me.

PGW2004: 238.4 introduced us to the boldly flecked yellow-on-black pattern of some Ceroctis species, such as Ceroctis capensis. Such a bold pattern also occurs in other Ceroctis species, besides which there are at least four other "groundplan" colour patterns in the genus:
(1) Reduction of the black to narrow bands and spots.
(2) Subequal black and yellow bands.
(3) Rows of small, more or less discrete, yellow spots on black.
(4) A pattern of alternating black and yellow stripes.

Related genera (and number of observations as of now) are:

Actenodia http://www.ispotnature.org/species-dictionaries/sanbi/Actenodia
Hycleus (96) http://www.ispotnature.org/species-dictionaries/sanbi/Hycleus
Mimesthes http://www.ispotnature.org/species-dictionaries/sanbi/Mimesthes
Paractenodia http://www.ispotnature.org/species-dictionaries/sanbi/Paractenodia
+
Ceroctis (43) http://www.ispotnature.org/species-dictionaries/sanbi/Ceroctis

(limited to s Afr to invoke the SANBI dictionary)

09 Jan 2015
Tony Rebelo