BOLOGNA: Sitarobrachys thoracica (Kraatz, 1862): new genus and species for the blister beetle fauna of Turkey (Coleoptera: Meloidae)

Sitarobrachys thoracica (Kraatz, 1862): new genus and species for the blister beetle fauna of Turkey (Coleoptera: Meloidae)

Abstract

Sitarobrachys thoracica, belonging to a monotypic Mediterranean-Macaronesian genus of Meloidae Nemognathinae, is recorded for the first time from southern Turkey. The genus results widely distributed around the Mediterranean Basin and in the eastern Canary Islands.





Introduction

Sitarobrachys Reitter, 1895 is a blister beetle monotypic genus of the subfamily Nemognathinae, distributed around the Mediterranean Basin and in the eastern Canary Islands. The taxonomy of the genus is rather complex, due to the great sexual dimorphism (Fig. 1) and the variability of some morphological characters. It was clarified by Bologna (1994a, 1994b), who pointed out that the following taxa, described from distinct and far circummediterranean localities, are all synonyms of the type species, Stenoria thoracica Kraatz, 1862 (described from Greece): (i) Sitarobrachys brevipennis Reitter, 1895 (central Bulgaria: Stara Planina); (ii) Sitarobrachys buigasi Escalera, 1909 (SW Morocco: Essaouira); (iii) Sitarobrachys alfierii Pic, 1913 (N Egypt: Dekela near Alexandria); (iv) Sitarobrachys proxima Escalera, 1914 (SW Morocco: Essaouira; see also Faucheaux 2011).

This rare and little-known species was recorded also from other NE and Saharan Moroccan localities (Oujda; Oued Mird), N Algeria (Mascara), Palestine (Wadi El Fari-ah), eastern Canary Islands (Fuerteventura) (see Bologna, 1994a, 1994b for a review of all records) and from the extreme SW Spain (Tarifa; Ruiz, 1996).

Results

No recent records occurred from East Mediterranean, probably because of the specialized biology of the species, which is parasite of wild bees; in fact, the brachyelytrous and wingless female does not exits the bee nests and also males remain close to the host nests. For this reason I consider significant to point out the presence of the genus also in SE Turkey: 1 male, Halfeti, 10 Apr 1992, O. Hovorka coll. (coll. Dvorak, now housed at the Department of Entomology, National Museum, Prague, Czech Republic, NMPC). Halfeti is a town in the Şanliurfa Province, near the Syrian border, characterized by dry steppe habitat.

This new record complete the range of this monotypic genus in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin, until now cited only from Bulgaria, Greece, Palestine and Egypt, and represents a novelty for the Turkish fauna of Meloidae.

Acknowledgements

I want to thank Federico Romiti, who made the photos, and Marta Bologna for graphic arrangement.

References

1 

M.A. Bologna 1994a. I Meloidae della Grecia (Coleoptera). Fragmenta entomologica, 25 (suppl.): 1–119.

2 

M.A. Bologna 1994b. Meloidae from Canary and other Macaronesian islands (Coleoptera). Miscellania Zoologica Barcelona, 16 (1992): 73–80.

3 

M.J. Faucheaux 2011. Longevité remarquable de Sitarobrachys thoracica (Kraatz, 1862) (Coleoptera: Meloidae) parasite dans le nid de Chalicodoma sicula (Rossi, 1792) (Hymenoptera: Magachilidae). Bulletin de la Societé de Sciences naturelles de l'ouest de la France (n.s.), 33: 52–53.

4 

J.L. Ruiz 1996. Sitarobrachys thoracica (Kraatz, 1862), nuevo género y especie para la coleopterofauna ibérica (Coleoptera, Meloidae). Zoologica baetica, 7: 53–59.

Fig. 1

Sitarobrachys thoracica (Kraatz, 1862) male and female (specimens from Spain, Canary Islands, Fuerteventura).

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