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The Sphodrina of the southern Levant (Coleoptera: Carabidae, Sphodrini)

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Abstract and Figures

Here we present a synthesis on the current knowledge of sphodrine carabids of the southern Levant (Israel, areas under Palestinian control, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt east of Suez Channel: Sinai). A key for the identification of genera, subgenera and species is provided. Two new species are described: Taphoxenus ( Lychnifugus ) ziegleri sp. n. is described from Jordan (Type locality: Madaba), close to T . ( L .) meridionalis Casale, 1988 (valid species), but markedly distinct for several characters both in external features and male genitalia. Laemostenus ( Laemostenus ) sinaiticus sp. n. is described from southern Sinai (Type locality: St. Catharina Monastery). This species belongs to the L. quadricollis species group (in the sense of Casale, 1988), and is close to L. aegyptiacus Schatzmayr, 1936. An updated key for the identification of the species of this group known so far in that area, which includes both epigean and subterranean species, is provided. The diagnostic features of all species newly described are illustrated, and their possible relationships are discussed. Furthermore, the features of male genitalia of Laemostenus ( Laemostenus ) aegyptiacus Schatzmayr, 1936 and Laemostenus ( Laemostenus ) libanensis (Piochard de la Brûlerie, 1876) are illustrated for the first time. The latter, known so far from the remains of the holotype specimen, is redescribed from material recently sampled in Lebanon.
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Fragmenta entomologica, 49 (1): 13-24 (2017)
Research article
Submitted: April 15th, 2017 - Accepted: May 23rd, 2017 - Published: June 30th, 2017
The Sphodrina of the southern Levant
(Coleoptera: Carabidae, Sphodrini)
Achille CASALE 1,*, Thorsten ASSMANN 2
1 C/o Università di Sassari, Dipartimento di Scienze della Natura e del Territorio (Zoologia) - Via Muroni 25, 07100 Sassari, Italy.
Private: Corso Raffaello 12, 10126 Torino, Italy - a_casale@libero.it
2 Institute of Ecology, Leuphana University Lüneburg - Scharnhorststr. 1, D-21332 Lüneburg (Germany) - assmann@uni.leuphana.de
* Corresponding author
Abstract
Here we present a synthesis on the current knowledge of sphodrine carabids of the southern Levant (Israel, areas under Palestinian con-
trol, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt east of Suez Channel: Sinai). A key for the identication of genera, subgenera and species is provided. Two
new species are described: Taphoxenus (Lychnifugus) ziegleri sp. n. is described from Jordan (Type locality: Madaba), close to T. (L.)
meridionalis Casale, 1988 (valid species), but markedly distinct for several characters both in external features and male genitalia. Lae-
mostenus (Laemostenus) sinaiticus sp. n. is described from southern Sinai (Type locality: St. Catharina Monastery). This species belongs
to the L. quadricollis species group (in the sense of Casale, 1988), and is close to L. aegyptiacus Schatzmayr, 1936. An updated key for
the identication of the species of this group known so far in that area, which includes both epigean and subterranean species, is pro-
vided. The diagnostic features of all species newly described are illustrated, and their possible relationships are discussed. Furthermore,
the features of male genitalia of Laemostenus (Laemostenus) aegyptiacus Schatzmayr, 1936 and Laemostenus (Laemostenus) libanensis
(Piochard de la Brûlerie, 1876) are illustrated for the rst time. The latter, known so far from the remains of the holotype specimen, is
redescribed from material recently sampled in Lebanon.
Key words: Coleoptera, Carabidae, Taphoxenus (Lychnifugus) ziegleri sp. n., Laemostenus sinaiticus new species, Laemostenus quad-
ricollis species group, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Sinai.
urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:0EF93C84-F0C4-47E5-B058-05CA51AA759A
Introduction
Carabid beetles of the tribe Sphodrini - in particular, Spho-
drina of the Laemostenus and Sphodrus phyletic lineages
– include many species in Anatolia and the Middle East,
and most of them have been treated and illustrated by Ca-
sale (1988), with some maps of distribution ranges of var-
ious taxa. Several forest or desert dwelling, montane or
troglophilic species belonging to this group of carabids are
of relevant biospeleological and biogeographic interest for
the given area (Casale & Vigna Taglianti 1999). Further,
new Laemostenus species have been described or listed
from this region by several authors in recent years (see,
for a synthesis, Casale & Wrase 2012). However, large ar-
eas have not been adequately investigated so far; there-
fore, we expect that a large number of new species awaits
discovery.
This is also true for the southern Levant, a region
which comprises Israel, areas under Palestinian control,
Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt east of the Suez Channel (Si-
nai). The high interest and diversity of the carabid fauna in
this area has been recently illustrated in several contribu-
tions by Assmann et al. (2012, 2015a, 2015b).
In this contribution, we describe and illustrate two new
Sphodrina species sampled in the southern Levant, with
additional notes and identication keys for all Sphodrina
genera, subgenera and species of the region.
Material and methods
The material examined is housed in the collections listed
below:
cCA Collection Achille Casale, Torino, Italy
cAS Collection Thorsten Assmann, Lüneburg, Germany
(part of the Zoological State Collection, Munich)
cHE Collection Walter Heinz, Schwanfeld, Germany
cRE Collection Christoph Reuter, Hamburg, Germany
cSC Collection Peer Schnitter, Halle, Germany
cWR Collection David Wrase, Berlin, Germany (part of
the Zoological State Collection Munich)
cZI Collection Wolfgang Ziegler, Rondeshagen, Germany
eISSN: 2284-4880 (online version)
pISSN: 0429-288X (print version)
14
Casale & Assmann
MNHN Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris,
France
MSNM Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Milano, Italy
ZSCM Zoological State Collection, Munich, Germany
The total body length (TL) is measured from the ante-
rior margin of the clypeus to the apex of the elytra as the
maximum linear distance; the overall length (L) from the
apex of the mandibles to the apex of the elytra, measured
along the suture; the length of the pronotum (PL) as linear
distance from the anterior to the basal margin, measured
along the midline; the width of the pronotum (PW) at its
broadest point; the length of the elytra (EL) as linear dis-
tance from the basal ridge to the apex, measured along the
suture; the width of the elytra (EW) at its broadest point.
These measurements were combined as ratios as follows:
PL/PW and EL/EW, using an ocular micrometer in a Wild
M-3 or Wild M-5 stereomicroscope.
Dissections were made using standard techniques:
male genitalia were dissected and examined in dry condi-
tion, before their nal inclusion on labels pinned beneath
the specimens from which they had been removed. Line
drawings were made using a camera lucida attached to a
Wild M-3 or Wild M-5 stereo microscope.
Most of the habitus photographs were taken by G. Al-
legro with the Leica DFC295 camera mounted on a Leica
M205 C Stereomicroscope, using the software Leica Ap-
plication System V4.0.
Taxonomic treatment and morphological terms
The genera Taphoxenus Motschulsky, 1865 and Laemoste-
nus Bonelli, 1810 are treated in the widest sense of Ca-
sale (1988), in which the limits of subgenera and species
groups are clear in some cases, but not yet dened in other
cases.
The median lobe of aedeagus is synonym of phallus of
some authors.
Results
Description of new species and taxonomic notes
Taphoxenus (Lychnifugus) ziegleri sp. n.
urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:BCA6D0AC-B6E8-4F4B-9A50-BFEB654BD047
Type locality: Jordan, Madaba.
Type material: Holotype male, labeled : « Jordanien 762
m sü Madaba Bodenfalle W. Ziegler 13.3.2015 » « Oliven-
hain bei AUM N31°39'30 E35°47'47 » (cAS); paratypes :
1 male, same date as holotype (cZI) ; 1 male « Jordan SW,
N of Petra SE Shawbak 1.4.2013 lgt. Snižek » (cWR);
1 female « N30°37'08.9 » E035°37'34.4 » « Jordanien,
Dhana, Camp. Ruderal 05-09.05.2010 1327 m ǕNN leg.
Schnitter JD 04 LF/HF » (cCA); 1 male « N30°37'08.9
E035°37'34.4 Jordanien, Dhana, Camp. Ruderal 24.04.
2016 1327 m üNN leg. Schnitter JD 31 » (cSC); 1 speci-
men (remains: prothorax, abdomen and elytra) “Tala Ra-
shadiyya 1500 m G. Sama leg. 15.V.99” (cCA).
Note about the type series: The four examined specimens
not sampled in the type locality, from Petra, Dhana and
Tala respectively, slightly differ from the two specimens
from the type locality (Madaba) for the pronotum with lat-
eral margins not sinuate, regularly curved and constrict-
ed to the basal margin. All other morphological features
are consistent with those described of the new species, and
genitalia of the male from N of Petra are identical to those
of the holotype. For the time being, as a consequence of
the scarcity of material, we cannot provide further infor-
mation about the variability of this species.
Diagnosis. A Taphoxenus species with the character states
of the subgenus Lychnifugus Motschulsky, 1864 in the
sense of Casale (1988), mostly characterized by its large
size (L: 28.5-32.0 mm, 25.5 in male holotype; TL: 26.0-
29.0 mm, 22.5 in male holotype), the transverse prono-
tum, the long, markedly curved mesotibiae in males and
the elongate, parallel-sided, depressed and deeply stri-
ate elytra. Similar and close to T. (L.) meridionalis Ca-
sale, 1988 (valid species, see below), but markedly distinct
from it by the longer antennae, extending beyond the base
of elytra, the more transverse pronotum, the parallel-sided
elytra, the deeper, deeply punctured elytral striae, the an-
gular, curved mesotibiae, the less furnished brush of setae
at apex of metatibiae, and the different shape of the medi-
an lobe of aedeagus, which is more elongate and slender
(Figs 9-16).
Etymology. We dedicate this new, very interesting species
to our friend Wolfgang Ziegler, who sampled in Jordan the
two type specimens from the type locality here designated
for the new taxon.
Description. Large-sized species (TL: 26.0-29.0 mm; L:
28.5-32.0 mm), brachypterous.
Colour: uniformly black. Palpi reddish, antennomeres
5-11 piceous brown (Fig. 4).
Microsculpure: Head, pronotum and elytra relatively
shiny, with shallow, transversal microlines on pronotum
and almost vanished, isodiametric meshes on elytral in-
tervals.
Head: large, moderately convex; frons irregularly, shal-
lowly striate. Tempora moderately convex, slightly nar-
rowed to the neck constriction; frontal impressions small,
short, slightly impressed; eyes relatively large, as long as
genae, slightly prominent laterally.
Antennae: moderately long, if stretched backwards ex-
ceeding with two antennomeres the base of elytra.
Prothorax: transverse (ratio PL/PW: 0.92), widest at its
anterior third, its lateral margins reexed in the posteri-
15
The Sphodrina of the Southern Levant
or half, briey or not sinuate anteriorly to the basolateral
angles; anterolateral angles slightly prominent; base mod-
erately concave, beaded. Disc depressed, with sparse and
shallow transversal wrinkles; basal impressions wide and
deep; anterolateral setiferous punctures present, basolater-
al setiferous punctures absent.
Elytra: elongate (ratio EL/EW: 1.71), parallel-sided, de-
pressed on disc; pre-humeral (basal) margins oblique, hu-
meral angles rounded, with an obtuse, reduced humer-
al tooth. In one male paratype, elytral suture deeply im-
pressed. Striae deep, strong punctured; intervals at,
smooth. Chaetotaxy: basal pore absent; umbilicate series
with numerous (31-33) setiferous punctures, uninterrupted
in the middle; 1 seta at apex of stria 7.
Legs: long, very robust; profemora on ventral side longi-
tudinally shallowly concave for entire length, their out-
er sides glabrous; mesotibiae elongate, bent in both sex-
es, very markedly and angularly curved in the middle in
males; metatibiae each with apical brush of short, sparse
yellow-reddish setae. Tarsomeres short and wide, glabrous
on the dorsal side, except tarsomere 1 of metatarsi, which
is setulose; metatarsomeres 3-5 with shallow, longitudinal
wrinkles in the basal half. Males with fore tarsomeres 1-3
not dilated and without biseriate adhesive vestiture on the
ventral side. Tarsal claws smooth.
Male genitalia: as in Figs 13-16. Median lobe of aedeagus
elongate and slender, regularly curved, very narrowed api-
cally, its apex short, rounded in dorsal aspect; right para-
mere elongate and slender, rounded apically; left paramere
with reduced apical membranous lobe.
Female genitalia: not examined.
Distribution and habitat. Known from several locali-
ties of Jordan at different altitudes, in steppic or desertic
habitats (Fig. 17). As indicated above, specimens from the
southern localities slightly differ from those from the type
locality (Madaba).
Comparisons and taxonomic notes about the Taphoxe-
nus species of the subgenus Lychnifugus in Anatolia
and the Middle East
T. (L.) ziegleri Casale & Assmann, sp. n. is similar and
close to T. (L.) meridionalis Casale, 1988, valid species,
see below, not subspecies of T. (L.) cellarum (as in Casale,
1988, 2003), of which it represents the southern geograph-
ical substitutive, but is markedly distinct from it by the
features described in the diagnosis, description, and see
‘Key to the Species’ below.
The study of this new species, and other additional ma-
terial, allowed one of the authors of the present contribu-
tion to check again several specimens examined at the time
of the monograph (Casale 1988) (in particular, the features
of male genitalia, when available), and to modify the taxo-
nomic treatment of some taxa.
These main facts were ascertained: 1. T. (L.) cella rum
(Adams, 1817) is localized to Caucasus and Transcauca-
sus only (NE Anatolia, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan).
T. (L.) meridionalis from Syria (Homs, Palmyra) and Iraq
(Baghdad) is specically distinct from it by several mor-
phological features (Figs. 2-3), in particular in the shape
of male genitalia (Figs. 5-8, 9-12). 2. Female specimens
from E Anatolia: Agri and Dogubayazit-Igdir 1600-2000
Figs 1-2 – Taphoxenus (Lychnifugus) spp., habitus in dorsal as-
pect. 1: T. (L.) cerberus cerberus, female specimen from Amasya
(Anatolia, Turkey); 2: T. (L.) cellarum, male specimen from Ba-
ku (Azerbaijan).
Figs 3-4 - Taphoxenus (Lychnifugus) spp., habitus in dorsal as-
pect. 3: T. (L.) meridionalis, male paratype from Homs (Syria);
4: T. (L.) ziegleri sp. n., male holotype from Madaba (Jordan).
1 32 4
5 mm
5 mm
5 mm
5 mm
16
Casale & Assmann
Figs 5-16 - Taphoxenus (Lychnifugus) spp., male genitalia. 5, T. (L.) cellarum, male specimen from Baku (Azerbaidjan), median lobe of
aedeagus, left lateral aspect; 6, idem, median lobe of aedeagus, apex, dorsal aspect; 7, idem, left paramere; 8, idem, right paramere; 9,
T. (L.) meridionalis, male paratype from Homs (Syria), median lobe of aedeagus, left lateral aspect; 10, idem, median lobe of aedeagus,
apex, dorsal aspect; 11, idem, left paramere; 12, idem, right paramere; 13, T. (L.) ziegleri sp. n., male holotype from Madaba (Jordan),
median lobe of aedeagus, left lateral aspect; 14, idem, median lobe of aedeagus, apex, dorsal aspect; 15, idem, left paramere; 16, idem,
right paramere.
m, attributed by Casale (1988) to meridionalis, should be-
long to T. (L.) cellarum or T. (Lychnifugus) sahendensis
(Morvan, 1981), but further material is necessary for a cor-
rect identication. To T. (Lychnifugus) sahendensis, to T.
cellarum or to a not yet described species, should belong
also a female specimen from Iran (Kurdistan) “Pass zw.
Baneh u. Saqez 2000-2150 m 13/14.IV.2014 (Gardeneh-
Khan Tunnel) Heinz leg. (cHE)”.
The Iranian species of Lychnifugus will be the object of
another contribution (Casale & Wrase in preparation).
Key for identication of Taphoxenus (Lychnifugus)
species of Caucasus, Anatolia and S Levant
1. Humeral angle with an obtuse, not or slightly prominent
tooth. Basal ridge of elytra straight or moderately bent.
Metatarsomeres 3-5 with shallower longitudinal wrinkles
on the dorsal side in the basal half (species from Caucasus,
Anatolia and southern Levant) .......................................... 2
- Humeral angle with an acute, prominent tooth. Basal ridge
of elytra markedly bent. Metatarsomeres 3-5 with deeper
longitudinal wrinkles on the dorsal side (species from N,
Central and S Iran; not discussed herein)
2. Pronotum very widened in front, constricted to the basal
margin. Elytra with deeply impressed, concave suture; ely-
tral intervals with evident transversal wrinkles (Fig. 1).
Metatibiae with inner brush of setae reduced to the apex of
tibia (Central- and South-Western Anatolia) ........................
..................................... T. (Lychnifugus) cerberus (Gangl-
bauer, 1905) (sensu lato, incl. ssp. muchei Jedlička, 1961)
- Pronotum moderately widened in front. Elytral intervals
smooth. Metatibiae with well-developed inner brush of se-
tae on the apical half or third of tibiae ............................... 3
3. Pronotum very elongate, cordate, with lateral margins deep-
1 mm
5
6
7
8
9
10
12
14
13
16 15
11
17
The Sphodrina of the Southern Levant
ly sinuate anteriorly to the basal angles (Fig. 2). Median
lobe of aedeagus as in Figs. 5-8 (Caucasus and Transcau-
casus: Georgia, Armenia, NE Azerbaijan: Baku, Lankaran
[=Lenkoran]) ... T. (Lychnifugus) cellarum (Adams, 1817)
- Pronotum transverse or moderately elongate, with lateral
margins not or shortly sinuate anteriorly to the basal angles.
Large-sized species (L: 24-32 mm) (Syria, Iraq and Jordan)
........................................................................................... 4
4. Pronotum cordate and narrower (ratio PL/PW: 1.0). Elytra
elongate-oval, moderately and uniformly convex, with shal-
low, supercially punctured striae. Antennae shorter, not
extending beyond the base of elytra (Fig. 3). Median lobe
of aedeagus shorter and stout, as in Figs. 9-12 (W Syria:
Homs, Palmyra; Iraq: Mesopotamia, Baghdad) ...................
.................................................................. T. (Lychnifugus)
meridionalis Casale, 1988 (valid species, status nov.)
- Pronotum transverse (ratio PL/PW: 0.92). Elytra parallel-
sided, moderately depressed on disc, with deep, deeply
punctured striae. Antennae longer, extending beyond the
base of elytra (Fig. 4). Median lobe of aedeagus elongate
and slender, as in Figs. 13-16 (Jordan) .................................
............ T. (Lychnifugus) ziegleri Casale & Assmann sp. n.
Laemostenus (Laemostenus) sinaiticus sp. n.
urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:41F16158-63D1-4B5E-B68A-6E8C37CA44A2
Type locality: Egypt, South Sinai, Saint Katherina Moun-
tains.
Type material. Holotype male, Egypt: labeled: “Egypt
South Sinai Saint Katherina Mountains Wadi Shagg (Tin-
ya) » «West of Abu Sila Riparian habitats ~ 1600 m asl,
14.12.2009 leg. Th. Assmann” (cAS); Paratypes: 2 males,
1 female, same data as holotype (cAS, cCA); 1 male (gen-
italia mounted): Egypt: South Sinai / Saint Katherina /
Mountains / Wadi Shagg (Tinya) (1. label) West of Abu
Sila / Riparian habitats / ~1600 m asl, 14.12.2009 / leg. Th.
Assmann (2. label) (cAS); 1 female: Egypt: South Sinai /
Saint Katherina / Mountains / Wadi Shagg Musa (1. la-
bel) Riparian habitats / ~1500 m asl 06.02.2010 / leg. Th.
Assmann (2. label) (cAS); 1 female: Egypt: South Sinai,
Saint Katherina Mountains, Wadi Shagg (Tinya)”, “West
of Abu Sila Riparian habitats ~ 1600 m asl, 14.12.2009
leg. Th. Assmann” (cWR).
Diagnosis. A small sized (L: 13-14.5 mm), Platynus-like
Laemostenus (Laemostenus) species of the L. quadricollis
species group (sensu CASALE 1988), mostly character-
ized by the uniformly black colour, slender, brachypter-
ous, depressed body, and elongate antennae and legs.
Etymology. From the type locality (South Sinai) of the
new species.
Description. Body small: TL: 12.0 – 13.3 mm; L: 13.2-
14.5 mm; in holotype: TL: 12.4 mm; L: 13.0.
Colour: uniformly black. Antennae, legs and mouth parts
dark reddish brown (Fig. 18).
Microsculpure: Head and pronotum relatively shiny, with
shallow, almost vanished transversal microlines; elytra
opaque, with distinct, isodiametric meshes.
Head: very elongate and narrow (Fig. 19); dorsal surface
smooth; tempora slightly oblique, narrowed to the neck
constriction; frontal impressions small, short, slightly im-
pressed; eyes small, moved forward, as long as two/thirds
of genae, slightly prominent laterally.
Fig. 17 – Jordan, Dhana, habitat of Taphoxenus (Lychnifugus) ziegleri sp. n. (photo P. Schnitter).
18
Casale & Assmann
Antennae: long, if stretched backwards exceeding by four
antennomeres the elytral base.
Pronotum: very elongate and narrow, longer than wide (ra-
tio PL/PW: 1.09-1.2), its lateral sides slightly reexed in
the posterior half, briey sinuate anteriorly to the baso-
lateral angles, which are rectangular; anterolateral angles
fully effaced, not prominent; base straight or moderately
oblique at sides, beaded. Disc depressed, with sparse and
shallow transverse wrinkles; basal impressions wide, shal-
low, each with several, deep punctures extended to the ba-
sal area and the lateral furrows; anterolateral and basolat-
eral setiferous punctures present.
Mesosternum: denticulate in front of mesocoxae.
Elytra: ovate, relatively short and wide (ratio EL/EW: 1.60-
1.70), depressed, slightly widened in the posterior third.
Base narrow, almost straight; basal ridge incavate; humer-
al tooth absent, shoulders obtusely rounded. Striae deep,
very shallowly punctured, almost smooth; intervals at,
Figs 18-19Laemostenus (Laemostenus) sinaiticus sp. n., male holotype. 18, habitus in dorsal aspect ; 19, head and pronotum.
Figs 20-22Laemostenus (Laemostenus) spp., habitus in dorsal aspect. 20, L. (L.) aegyptiacus, female holotype; 21, L. (L.) anton-
richteri, male holotype from Mt. Hermon (Israel); 22, L. (L.) antonrichteri, female specimen from Nakhal Bezet, Sharakh Cave (Israel,
Upper Galilee).
1 mm
18 19
2 mm
5 mm
20 21 22
19
The Sphodrina of the Southern Levant
smooth. Chaetotaxy: basal pore present; umbilicate series
with 16-17 setiferous punctures; 3 setae at apex of stria 7.
Legs: long and slender; profemora on ventral side longitu-
dinally shallowly concave for entire length, its outer side
with an oblique series of 3-4 setae, one of them reaching
the apical third of the outer margin, which is smooth; mes-
otibiae straight; metatibiae each with apical group of short,
sparse yellow-reddish setae. Tarsomeres narrow, thin, very
elongate, with dorsal pubescence short and sparse. Males
with fore tarsomeres 1-3 slightly dilated and with ventral,
biseriate adhesive vestiture. Tarsal claws smooth or with
2-3 small teeth along the basal half of the internal margin.
Male genitalia: as in Figs. 25-26. Aedeagus smallest in
size; median lobe slightly curved, its apex short, in dorsal
aspect rounded distally; right paramere elongate and slen-
der, subtruncate apically; left paramere with reduced api-
cal membranous lobe.
Female genitalia: not examined.
Distribution and habitat. Known so far from localities in
the surrounding of the Saint Catherina Monastery (south-
ern Sinai, Egypt), at about 1600 m a.s.l. All specimens of
the type series were collected in montane wadis in arid re-
gions (Fig. 34).
Comparisons. Close to L. (L.) aegypticus Schatzmayr,
1936, an enigmatic species known so far from the type lo-
cality (holotype from Egypt, North Sinai, Wadi Garraui,
South Seluan: Fig. 20) and Eilat (Israel) (see Casale, 1988)
(two female specimens in MSNM), of which it represents
the South-Western substitutive at high altitude in the Si-
nai peninsula.
We had the opportunity to re-examine the two speci-
mens of L. (L.) aegypticus in MSNM, two further male
specimens labeled: “JO – Wadi Rum 29°30'48.2''N 35°23'
00.7''E 21/III/2016 lg. E. Boutaud” “Chasse à vue Desert
– Wadi sous pierre” and “JO – Wadi Rum 29°34' 13.0''N
35°24'40.3''E – Desert – Wadi under stone”, one female
from “S-Jordan: Wadi Rum / Qatar Spring / N 29.51°E
35.41° / 1000-1100 m asl” “dry wadi with Ficus trees, 28.
III.2017 / leg. Th. Assmann” and one female from “S-Is-
rael: Negev (208, 265) / Ro’a Wadi/Halukim Ridge / near
Sede Boqer N30°52.6' E034°42.1' / 4.12.2007 / leg. Th.
Assmann”, respectively. The locality Wadi Rum in Jor-
dan is rather close to Eilat, a site already reported by Ca-
sale (1988). In general, these sites are habitats shaded by
the walls of canons (Fig. 35). Some beetles were recorded
close to small springs. The specimen from the Negev was
found after strong rainfall in winter on a north exposed
slope with sparse vegetation of semi-shrubs. All habitats
are characterized by herbal and grass vegetation, in gen-
eral without trees or shrubs.
This material allowed us to better stress the diagnostic
features of these two taxa (see key to species in this con-
tribution), and illustrate for the rst time the male genitalia
of L. aegyptiacus (Figs. 27-29).
Laemostenus (Laemostenus) libanensis (Piochard de la
Brûlerie, 1876)
Sphodrus (Laemostenes) (sic!) libanensis Piochard de la
Brûlerie, 1876: 421.
Laemostenus (Antisphodrus) libanensis: Casale, 1988: 610.
Type locality: Jebel Shannin (=Jabal Sannine), Lebanon
Type material. Holotype, remains of one specimen (pro-
thorax, elytra, left prothoracic profemur and metathoracic
legs) labeled: “Sannin” “TYPE” “Muséum Paris Coll. P.
de la Brûlerie Coll. Sédillot 1935” “libanensis L. Brul.”
(examined) (MNHN, general collection) (Fig. 24).
Further material examined. (cAS, cCA, cRE, cWR): 1
female “Rayfoun ca. 33°58'N, 35°42'E, 18.XI.2012, mixed
decid. forest, 800-900 m pitfall trap, leg. Reuter”; 2 fe-
males, same locality and collector, mixed oak forest, 990
m, X.2013; 2 females, same data, 3.-20.XI.2013; 1 male,
2 females, same data, 20.XI.-1.XII.2013; 1 female, same
data, XII.2013; 1 female, same data, 28.III.-9-IV.2014;
2 females, same data, XI.2014; 3 females, same data,
14.II.-24.III.2016; 1 male, 1 female, same data, 31.III.-9.
IV.2016; 2 males, same data, III.2015; 1 female, same da-
ta, 24.-31.III.2016; 4 males, 11 females, “27 km NE Bei-
rut, env. Kfardebian mixed oak forest, ca. 1100 m 20.XI-1.
XII.2013 pitfall trap leg. Reuter”.
Redescription
A small to medium-sized (L: 12-13.5 mm) Laemostenus
(Laemostenus) species of the L. quadricollis species group
(sensu Casale 1988), primarily characterized by the dark
reddish brown colour , the slender, brachypterous body,
the small eyes, elongate antennae and legs, the markedly
cordate pronotum, the almost smooth elytral striae, and the
tarsal claws with developed denticulation along the basal
half of the internal margin (Figs. 23-24).
Body: small, TL: 11.0-12.7; L: 12.0-13.5 mm.
Colour: dark reddish brown. Elytra without bluish reec-
tion. Antennae, legs and mouth parts reddish.
Microsculpure: Head, pronotum and elytra shiny, with
shallow transversal microlines; elytra with shallow but
distinct, isodiametric meshes.
Head: elongate and narrow; dorsal surface smooth, with
shallow, irregular wrinkles on frons and frontal impres-
sions; tempora slightly oblique, narrowed to the neck con-
striction; frontal impressions small, slightly impressed;
eyes small, moved forward, as long as two/thirds of ge-
nae, slightly or not prominent laterally; antennae long, if
stretched backwards exceeding by four antennomeres the
base of pronotum.
Pronotum: elongate and narrow (ratio PL/PW: 1.00-1.05),
cordate, its lateral sides slightly reexed in the posterior
half, briey but markedly sinuate anteriorly to the baso-
lateral angles, which are rectangular or acute; anterolateral
angles very prominent; base straight or moderately oblique
20
Casale & Assmann
and beaded at sides. Disc depressed, with shallow or mod-
erately impressed transversal wrinkles; basal impressions
wide, shallow, each with several, deep punctures extended
to the basal area and the lateral furrows; anterolateral and
basolateral setiferous punctures present.
Mesosternum: denticulate in front of mesocoxae; mesos-
ternal teeth obtuse and reduced in size.
Elytra: elongate-ovate (ratio EL/EW: 1.55 - 1.70), subcon-
vex, slightly widened in the posterior third. Base narrow,
almost straight; basal ridge incavate; humeral tooth absent,
shoulders obtusely rounded. Striae very deep, smooth or
shallowly punctured; intervals subconvex. Chaetotaxy: ba-
sal pore present; umbilicate series with 17-18 setiferous
punctures; 2-3 setae at apex of stria 7.
Legs: long and slender; profemora on ventral side longitu-
dinally shallowly concave for entire length, its outer side
with an oblique series of 3-4 setae, one of them reaching
the apical third of the outer margin, which is smooth; mes-
otibiae straight; metatibiae each with apical group of short,
sparse yellow-reddish setae. Tarsomeres narrow, thin,
very elongate, with dense, long dorsal pubescence on the
dorsal side. Males with fore tarsomeres 1-3 slightly dilated
and with ventral, biseriate adhesive vestiture. Tarsal claws
denticulate, with 4-5 evident teeth along the basal half of
the internal margin.
Male genitalia: as in Figs. 30-33. Aedeagus small-sized;
median lobe markedly bent in the basal third in lateral as-
pect, its apex short, in dorsal aspect subtruncate, slight-
ly emarginate distally; right paramere short and slender,
rounded apically; left paramere with reduced apical mem-
branous lobe.
Female genitalia: not examined.
Distribution and habitat. Known so far from localities in
the Mount Lebanon range: Jebel Shannin (=Jabal Sannine)
at high altitude (2600 m) and surroundings of Rayfoun and
Kfardebian NE to Beirut at 800-1100 m a.s.l. The remains
of the type specimen were collected in alpine habitat on
Jebel Shannin; all other examined specimens were sam-
pled by C. Reuter in mixed deciduous and oak forests by
pitfall traps.
Comparisons and taxonomic notes
Close to L. (L.) aegypticus Schatzmayr, 1936, L. sinaiti-
cus sp. n. and L. phoenicius Casale & Wrase, 2012, from
which L. libanensis is distinct by the morphological fea-
tures stressed in the key to the species of the Laemostenus
quadricollis species group (see below).
Sphodrus libanensis” was originally described by Pi-
ochard de la Brûlerie (1876) from the remains of one spec-
imen collected “under a huge stone” on the Jebel Shan-
nin (“Sannin”) at 2600 m a.s.l. (Fig. 24). Later, the spe-
cies was provisionally attributed to Laemostenus Subgen.
Antisphodrus of the bodemeyeri species group by Casale
(1988, 2003).
The rediscovery of this not rare species (as it appears
by the long series of examined specimens), previously
known from remains of one only specimen, is particularly
surprising because it happened after many years in an area
close to Beirut, in the Mount Lebanon range, apparently
well known thanks to ancient and recent entomological in-
vestigations.
On the contrary, the occurrence of this species at low-
er altitude (800-1100 m) in forests is not an extraordinary
Figs 23-24Laemostenus (Laemostenus) libanensis, habitus in dorsal aspect. 23, male specimen from Lebanon, Rayfoun; 24, holotype
(remains) from Lebanon, Jebel Shannin.
2 mm
23 24
21
The Sphodrina of the Southern Levant
fact: it is well known that some Sphodrina species are
spread in ranges of altitudes from 300 to 2200 m on the
Alps and other mountain chains in Eurasia (Casale 1988).
Remarkable is the fact that L. libanensis is sympatric
with L. phoenicius Casale & Wrase, 2012, described from
2 males and 4 female specimens from two localities (Mai-
fouq, Saida) close to Beirut at 650-800 m a.s.l. The lat-
ter shows marked adaptive features to supercial subter-
ranean environment, and is distinct from L. libanensis by
the head more thickened and robust, the depigmented body
(head, pronotum and appendages bright yellow reddish),
the elytra shorter, ovate, wider in the posterior third, seri-
ceous on disc with bluish metallic reection (absent in L.
libanensis), with shallowly but more distinctly punctured
striae, and the apex of median lobe of aedeagus wider and
more deeply emarginated in the middle in dorsal aspect.
Laemostenus (Laemostenus) antonrichteri Casale, 1988
L. (Laemostenus) antonrichteri Casale, 1988: 923.
This species was described by Casale (1988: 923), with-
out gures, in a supplementary note to his monograph
from one male (holotype: cHE) and one female (paratype:
cCA) specimens sampled on Mount Hermon (=Jebel esh-
Sheikh) at 1100-1400 m a.s.l. (Fig. 21).
In recent years, we had the opportunity to examine
some additional specimens collected in Upper Galilee: Na-
khal Bezet, esp. Sharakh Cave, Nakhal Kziv and Mount
Meron region (Tel Aviv University Museum, cAS, cWB,
cCA), which should be attributed to this species. They
slightly differ from the two specimens of the type series
by a few characters, especially having a more elongate and
1 mm
Figs 25-33Laemostenus (Laemostenus) spp., male genitalia. 25, L. (L.) sinaiticus sp. n., male holotype, median lobe of aedeagus, left
lateral aspect; 26, idem, right paramere; 27, L. (L.) aegyptiacus, male from Wadi Rum (Jordan), median lobe of aedeagus, left lateral as-
pect; 28, idem, right paramere; 29, idem, right paramere; 30, L. (L.) libanensis, male from Kfardebian, Beirut (Lebanon), median lobe of
aedeagus, left lateral aspect; 31, idem, median lobe of aedeagus, apex, dorsal aspect; 32, idem, left paramere; 33, idem, right paramere.
25
26
27
29 30
32
33
31
28
22
Casale & Assmann
cordate pronotum, the more deeply wrinkled lateral fur-
rows of pronotum, the slight bluish-violet reection on the
elytral disc in one specimen, and the more widened elytra
in the apical third (Fig. 22).
Presently, we believe that all these individuals feet in-
to the variation range of a rather variable species, but this
identity should be claried if more material will be avail-
able. This morphological variability is well known in some
other Sphodrina species that are epigean at high altitude
and hypogean in low altitude localities, as Sphodropsis
ghilianii Schaum, 1858 in Western Alps and L. (Antispho-
drus) schreibersi Kuster, 1846 in Eastern Alps (see Casale
1988).
On the other hand, there is an arc-like formation of
limestone from Upper Galilee through southern Lebanon
to Mount Hermon, so that there is not any barrier between
both massifs able to divide these populations.
The habitus of the holotype from Mt. Hermon and one
individual from Upper Galilee (Sharakh Cave) are illus-
trated in Figs 21-22.
Key for identication of Sphodrina of S Levant (Note:
the features described below are valid for the southern
Levant species only. The Iranian and Anatolian species
are excluded from the following key)
Key to genera
1. Tarsomeres 2-5 glabrous on the dorsal side. Tarsal claws
smooth on the inner side .................................................... 2
- Tarsomers 2-5 pubescent on the dorsal side. Tarsal claws
smooth or denticulate on the inner side .......... 3. Laemo ste-
nus Bonelli, 1810 (in the widest sense, see key to species)
2. Winged. Pronotum with basolateral setae. Metatrochanters
acute at apex, spine-like in males. Tarsomeres smooth on
the dorsal side ........................ 1. Sphodrus Clairville, 1806
- Metathoracic wings fully reduced. Pronotum without baso-
lateral setae. Metatrochanters rounded at apex. Tarsomeres
Fig. 34 – Egypt, Sinai, Saint Catharina Monastery,
habitat of Laemostenus (Laemostenus) sinaiticus sp.
n. (photo T. Assmann).
Fig. 35 – Jordan, Wadi Rum, habitat of Laemostenus
(Laemostenus) aegyptiacus (photo T. Assmann).
23
The Sphodrina of the Southern Levant
with shallow longitudinal wrinkles on the dorsal side ..........
........................................................... 2. Taphoxenus Mots-
chulsky, 1864 (Subgen. Lychnifugus Motschulsky, 1864)
Key to species
1. Genus Sphodrus Clairville, 1806
Only one species in this area: S. leucophthalmus Lin-
né, 1758, with the character states as indicated in the key
to genera. Winged species, able to y. Large-sized (22-30
mm); colour black or dark brown.
Distribution. Widely spread in Europe, N (Mediterranean
and Saharian) Africa, Middle East and Asia. Steppic, er-
emic and anthropophilic species, rare and disappearing in
several European countries (see Casale, 1988). Cited from
Iraq and Syria (Casale, 2003). We have new records from
Israel (unpublished, cAS, cDW) and Jordan: Wadi Rum
(cAS, cZI) and Dhana, Camp. Ruderal (cSC) (syntopic
with T. (L.) ziegleri sp. nov.).
The second species of the genus, S. trochanteribus Ma-
teu, 1990, is only known from Yemen.
2. Genus Taphoxenus Motschulsky, 1864
(Subgen. Lych nifugus Motschulsky, 1864)
Large-sized beetles (20-34 mm); colour black or dark
brown, without metallic reection. Wings fully reduced.
Species adapted to desert or steppe environments. Tapho-
xenus (sensu stricto) includes species from central, north-
ern and north-eastern Asia. Subgenus Lychnifugus is char-
acterised by the pronotum without basolateral setae and
metatarsomeres 2-5 with evident longitudinal dorsal wrin-
kles. It includes species from Caucasus, Anatolia and Mid-
dle-East (Iran, Iraq, Syria and southern Levant: see key
provided above)
1. Pronotum elongate, cordate (ratio PL/PW: 1.0). Antennae
shorter, not extending beyond the base of elytra. Elytra
elongate-oval, moderately and uniformly convex, with
shallow, supercially punctuate striae (Fig. 3). Median lobe
of aedeagus shorter and stout, as in Figs. 9-12. Range: W
Syria: Homs, Palmyra; Iraq: Mesopotamia, Baghdad) .........
....................................................................... T. (Lychni fu-
gus) meridionalis Casale, 1988 (valid species, status nov.)
- Pronotum transverse (ratio PL/PW: 0.90-0.93). Antennae
longer, extending beyond the base of elytra. Elytra paral-
lel-sided, moderately depressed on disc, with deep, deeply
punctured striae (Fig. 4). Median lobe of aedeagus elongate
and slender, as in Figs. 13-16 (Jordan) .................................
............ T. (Lychnifugus) ziegleri Casale & Assmann sp. n.
3. Genus Laemostenus Bonelli, 1810
(including Subgenera Sphodroides Schaufuss, 1865,
Pristonychus Dejean, 1828, Laemostenus Bonelli, 1810
and Antisphodrus Schaufuss, 1865, in the widest sense of
Ca sale, 1988). Medium-sized beetles, winged or with re-
duced metathoracic wings. Colour blue, violet, black or
depigmented piceous or testaceous. [Note: Some species
are difcult to distinguish. Examination of male genitalia
or wing development is sometimes necessary].
1. Profemora in males with a prominent tooth on the anterior
margin of the ventral side, close to the base of femur, in
some individuals of reduced size. Basal margin of elytra
oblique from the humeral angle to the scutellum, so that the
shoulders appear to protrude markedly forward and/or up-
ward. Pronotum cordiform, markedly widened anteriorly,
strongly narrowed to the base. Range: from eastern Medi-
terranean (Anatolia) to the Middle East ...............................
.................. L. (Sphodroides) cordicollis (Chaudoir, 1854)
- Profemora in males without a prominent tooth on the an-
terior margin of the ventral side. Basal margin of elytra
straight or oblique from the scutellum to the humeral angle,
so that the shoulders appear angulate or rounded .............. 2
2. Meso– and/or metatibiae bent, inside distally with devel-
oped brush of hairs. Mesosternum without tooth anteriorly
to the mesocoxae. Tarsal claws with a series of small teeth
along the basal half of the internal margin (Subgenus Pri-
stonychus) ......................................................................... 3
- Meso– and metatibiae straight, inside distally with scarce,
reduced, scattered hairs. Mesosternum with tooth anteriorly
to the mesocoxae. Tarsal claws with or without teeth along
the basal half of the internal margin (Subgenus Laemoste-
nus s. stricto) ..................................................................... 5
3. Profemora with the posterior margin of the ventral side
denticulate, with several (6 to >10) setae; tarsal claws with
teeth developed in the basal half. Elytra bluish or violet. E
Mediterranean species. Its occurrence in southern Levant
should be possible, but so far not conrmed ...................
[L. (Pristonychus) cimmerius (Fischer-Waldheim, 1823)]
- Profemora on the ventral side longitudinally shallowly con-
cave for entire length, with their posterior margin smooth or
with a few very small teeth and a few (3-5) short setae, the
apical one reaching the outer margin of femur; tarsal claws
without or with reduced teeth in the basal half. Colour pi-
ceous black; elytra without or with slight bluish reection ..
........................................................................................... 4
4. Pronotum cordate and narrower (ratio PL/PW: 0.91). Pro-
femora with both external and internal margins smooth,
their outer margin with 3 short setae. Larger in size (L: 19.0
mm). Known so far from only one female specimen from
Crac des Chevaliers (Syria). Its occurrence in the southern
Levant is possible .................................................................
....... [L. (Pristonychus) bellicosus Casale & Wrase, 2012]
- Pronotum markedly transverse (ratio PL/PW: 0.85). Pro-
femora with their posterior margin smooth or with a few
very small teeth and 2-5 short setae. Smaller in size (L: 15.0-
18.0 mm). Known so far from the surroundings of Alep-
po (Syria). Its occurrence in the southern Levant is possi-
ble .... [L. (Pristonychus) eggeri Casale & Wrase, 2012]
5. Winged, epigean species, with large and prominent eyes,
which are distinctly longer than genae. Humeral angles evi-
dent. Dorsal surface, at least on elytra, bluish, greenish or
violet ................................................................................. 6
- Brachypterous, micropterous or pteri-dimorphic (L. quadri-
collis) species, with eyes not or slightly prominent, as long
as or shorter than genae. Humeral angles rounded. Dorsal
surface piceous black or reddish brown, without or with
slight bluish or violet reection on elytra (Laemostenus
of the L. quadricollis species group sensu Casale, 1988)
(Note: the features described below are valid for the south-
ern Levant species only. L. croyi Casale & Wrase 2012,
L. heinzi Casale, 1988 and L. bergvalli Jeanne, 1996, from
South and Southeastern Anatolia, and L. luristanus Casale,
1988 from Central Iran, respectively, are excluded from the
following key) ................................................................... 7
6. Head with dense punctuation and wrinkles on frons; elytra
convex, with deeply punctured striae and wrinkled inter-
24
Casale & Assmann
vals; mesosternum with a small tooth in front of mesocox-
ae; dorsal surface black-violet. Euro-Mediterranean species
....................... L. ( Laemostenus) venustus (Dejean, 1828)
- Head smooth, at most with traces of wrinkles; elytra de-
pressed, elongate, with supercially punctured striae and
smooth intervals; mesosternum with small, sometimes ab-
sent callosity in front of mesocoxae; dorsal surface dark
brownish, elytra with blue, greenish or violet reection.
(Mediterranean, now cosmopolitan, sometimes synan-
thropic species) ...................................................................
................. L. (Laemostenus) complanatus (Dejean, 1828)
7. Pronotum markedly cordate, with lateral sides sinuate, con-
stricted to the base. Elytral striae deep, almost smooth.
Small-sized (L: 12.0-13.5 mm); colour dark brownish,
elytra without bluish or violet reection. Male genitalia as
in Figs. 30-33. Montane and forest dweller species. Range:
Lebanon, known from remains of one specimen collected
at high altitude (2600 m) in Jebel Shannin and several spec-
imens from two localities NE to Beirut al lower altitude
(900-1100 m), in mixed deciduous and oak forests .......... L.
(Laemostenus) libanensis (Piochard de la Brûlerie, 1876)
- Pronotum quadrate or rectangular, with lateral sides not or
moderately sinuate in front of basolateral angles. Small to
medium-sized, pigmented or depigmented species, with
shortened, rhomboidal metepisterna. Aedeagus peculiar-
ly small, its median lobe slightly curved, with thickened,
rounded or truncate apex. Species from Near and Middle
East (Turkey [SE Anatolia], Cyprus, W Iran, Syria, Leba-
non, Israel, N Egypt) ......................................................... 8
8. Elytral intervals very convex, in most individuals carinate
in the middle. Body wide, depressed; colour black, elytra
ovate, with bluish or blue-violet reection. Larger in size
species (L: 15-17 mm). Range: SE Anatolia, Syria, Leba-
non, Northern Israel ... L. (L.) parallelocollis (Reiche, 1855)
- Not as above. Elytral intervals at or slightly convex. Spe-
cies smaller in size ............................................................. 9
9. Pronotum subquadrate, with lateral furrows densely and
deeply punctuate. Elytra elongate, moderately sericeous,
with marked bluish or violet reection. A pteri-dimorphic,
epigean species. Range: Turkey (SE Anatolia), Cyprus,
Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan ............................................
......................... L. (L.) quadricollis (Redtenbacher, 1843
(sensu lato, including L. quadricollis turcicus Casale, 1988)
- Pronotum subquadrate or longer than wide. Elytra brown-
ish or black, without or with slight bluish or violet reec-
tion. Brachypterous, montane, desert dweller or subterrane-
an species ........................................................................ 10
10. Pigmented, brown or blackish, epigean species from Israel,
Jordan and Egypt ............................................................. 11
- Markedly depigmented, reddish brown, montane or sub-
terranean species from Lebanon, Upper Galilee and Mount
Hermon ........................................................................... 12
11. Dorsal surface dark brown or blackish, reddish brown in
immature specimens; elytra relatively shiny, in some in-
dividuals with slight violet reection. Eyes larger in size,
prominent, as long as genae and placed in lateral position
(Fig. 20). Pronotum subquadrate (PL/PW: 1.00-1.08), par-
allel-sided, slightly constricted forward. Median lobe of ae-
deagus as in Fig. 27. Range: Egypt: Sinai, Seluan; Israel:
Eilat, Negev; Jordan: Wadi Rum .........................................
................................ L. (L.) aegyptiacus Schatzmayr, 1936
- Dorsal surface black, without violet reection. Elytra
opaque, elytral microsculpture evident, with distinct, iso-
diametric meshes. Eyes smaller in size, shorter than genae,
moved forward, as long as two/thirds of genae and slightly
prominent (Figs. 18-19). Pronotum narrower, subquadrate
or longer than wide (PL/PW: 1.09-1.20), slightly constrict-
ed to the base. Median lobe of aedeagus as in Fig. 25. Range:
Egypt, South Sinai: Saint Catherina mountains ...............
................. L. (L.) sinaiticus Casale & Assmann, sp. n.
12. Head elongate, genae oblique. Elytra markedly elongate,
parallel-sided or slightly widened in the posterior third
(Figs. 21-22). Tarsal claws without denticulation or with
one to three small, obtuse teeth on the internal side in the
basal half. In dorsal aspect, tip of median lobe of aedeagus
almost straight. Range: Israel: Mount Hermon (type locali-
ty) and Upper Galilee (see notes above) ...............................
...................................... L. (L.) antonrichteri Casale, 1988
- Head robust, stout; genae parallel-sided. Elytra shorter,
ovate. Tarsal claws with evident denticulation on the in-
ternal side in the basal half. In dorsal aspect, tip of median
lobe of aedeagus emarginated. Range: Lebanon (Maifouq,
Saida) ............... L. (L.) phoenicius Casale & Wrase, 2012
Acknowledgements – We are very thankful to the owners and
collectors of the specimens examined in this study: Estève Bou-
taud, Nora Drescher, Walter Heinz, Christoph Reuter, Peer
Schnitter, David Wrase and Wolfgang Ziegler, who also provid-
ed us with information on the localities and habitat photographs.
Further, we would like to thank our friends and colleagues Thier-
ry Deuve (MNHN) for the opportunity to examine the holotype
of L. libanensis, Fabrizio Rigato and Maurizio Pavesi (MSNM)
for the loan of two specimens (holotype included) of L. aegyp-
tiacus, Gianni Allegro of the CREA laboratory in Casale Mon-
ferrato (Asti, Italy) and Enrico Lana (AGSP, Torino) for prepar-
ing or improving most of the habitus photographs. We are also
grateful to two anonymous reviewers for their useful additional
suggestions.
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... croyi Casale & Wrase 2012;L. heinzi Casale, 1988 (Casale & Assmann 2017). In the Near East and the Middle East this species group has been reported from CY, EG, IL, IR, LB, SY, TR (Casale & Wrase 2012;Casale & Assmann 2017). ...
... heinzi Casale, 1988 (Casale & Assmann 2017). In the Near East and the Middle East this species group has been reported from CY, EG, IL, IR, LB, SY, TR (Casale & Wrase 2012;Casale & Assmann 2017). During the present study, the two above adult specimens were collected by pitfall traps set in an African pencil cedar forest community at 2761 m and in an Olea europaea community at 2285 m. ...
Article
Study of ground beetles of the Garf Raydah Nature Reserve, located in the Asir Mountains of southwestern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) resulted in one species, Paussus abditus Nagel, sp. n. described as new to science. Thirteen species (21.3%) are reported as new country records and fifteen species (24.6%) are new records for Asir Province. Adult beetles were collected from 2013 to 2017. The determination of this material yielded a total of 61 species in 40 genera and 17 tribes belonging to nine subfamilies of Carabidae. The species richness represented approximately 36.1% of carabid species previously reported from KSA. The most species rich tribes were the Lebiini (20 species), the Harpalini (10 species), and the Bembidiini (6 species). The life form analysis of adults indicated 18 life form types that are grouped into three categories, Zoophagous (77.1%), Mixophytophagous (18.0%), and Myrmecophilous (4.9%). Zoogeographical analyses indicated that the Afrotropical (19.3%) and the Saharo-Arabian (19.3%) species dominate the carabid fauna of this region of KSA. Coryza cf. maculata (Nietner, 1856) is considered the only Oriental representative. Only one cosmopolitan species, Perigona nigriceps (Dejean, 1831), was collected. Eleven endemics were identified; six species are considered KSA endemics and five are Arabian Peninsula endemics.
... As recently recalled by Casale & Assmann (2017) and Casale & Wrase (2012), Carabid beetles of the tribe Sphodrini -Sphodrina of the Laemostenus and Sphodrus phyletic lineages include many species in the Near and Middle East, and most of them have been treated and illustrated by Casale (1988), with some maps of distribution of various taxa. Several forest dwelling, montane and numerous troglophilic species give to this group of carabids a marked biospeleological and biogeographic interest in this area (Casale & Vigna Taglianti 1999). ...
... The latter might be treated as a distinct species, but only the examination of a male, so far unknown, and its genitalia must secure this assumption. 2. T. (L.) meridionalis Casale, 1988, from Syria and Iraq, previously treated as subspecies of T. (L.) cellarum, is specifically distinct from it by several morphological features, in particular in the shape of male genitalia, as illustrated by Casale & Assmann (2017). In that contribution, these authors also described T. ...
Article
Notes are provided on some new, unexpected Sphodrina species from Iran, a country apparently well known from the entomological point of view. Notes on the species of Taphoxenus (Lychnifugus) of the Sphodrus phyletic lineage are added, with descriptions of Taphoxenus (Lychnifugus) elburzenis n. sp. (type locality: Iran, Elburz: Damavand Mt, 10 km W of Reine, 52°02ʹ24ʺE, 35°53ʹ22ʺN, 2200–2650 m) and Taphoxenus (Lychnifugus) murzini n. sp. (type locality: Iran, Fars: NW Sepidan, Poolad Kaf, 30°22ʹ01ʺN, 51°54ʹ00ʺE, 3100 m). Laemostenus (Arabosphodrus) laserae n. sp. (type locality: S Iran: Hormozgan, Genu Mts, N Bandar Abbas, 27°24ʹ04.5ʺN, 56°10ʹ49.6ʺE, 1680 m) is described. This species is particularly interesting, because it is the first representative of subgenus Arabosphodrus besides the type species of the subgenus, endemic to the mountains of North Oman. New records and illustrations of Laemostenus (Laemostenus) luristanus are provided, a little-known species from central Iran described from only two specimens. The diagnostic features of all species newly described are illustrated and their possible relationships are discussed.
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Citation: Borges, P.A.V., Lamelas-López, L., Ferrante, M., Monjardino, P., Lopes, D.H., Soares, A.O., Gil, A., Nunes, R., Gabriel, R., Arroz, A.M., Rigal, F., Bacher, S. & Lövei, G.L. (2022) Guia Prático da Fauna de Artrópodes Predadores dos Ecossistemas Agrícolas dos Açores. Universidade dos Açores, Angra do Heroísmo. 95 pp. ISBN:978-989-8870-40-7.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Nota Introdutória: "A agricultura intensiva é uma das actividades que mais influencia a estructura da paisagem, levando frequentemente à destruição e à perda de biodiversidade local. Por exemplo a intensidade e gestão das atividades agrícolas pode influenciar dramaticamente a composição e abundância das comunidades de artrópodes que habitam nos agroecosistemas. Alguns artrópodes fitófagos podem causar danos aos pomares ao consumirem parte da planta ou fruto. No entanto, muitos outros podem fornecer serviços benéficos, como a polinização, o controlo de pragas e a decomposição. Os carochos, formigas e aranhas são predadores generalistas importantes para ajudar a controlar pragas de insectos, e, inclusive, reduzir a quantidade de ervas daninhas ao consumir as suas sementes. Quer os ecólogos quer os agrónomos acreditam que a simplicidade dos modernos campos agrícolas, especialmente os extensos campos em monoculturas que recebem frequentes aplicações de pesticidas, contribuem para os surtos de pragas, bastante típicos desses tipos de sistema. Os agroecossistemas mais simples podem ser ambientes relativamente hostis para os inimigos naturais, conduzindo à depauperação das comunidades de predadores e parasitóides. Os ecossistemas agrícolas mais diversificados, por outro lado, tendem a recrutar espécies ruderais, as quais, em geral, são mais resistentes à perturbação destes ambientes agrícolas. O declínio da biodiversidade dos inimigos naturais geralmente enfraquece o controlo biológico. Uma das razões por trás disso é que as comunidades mais ricas podem reunir espécies de inimigos naturais que atacam pragas usando diferentes estratégias ou nichos espaciais e temporais, de modo que a mortalidade total infligida sobre as pragas é maximizada apenas quando várias espécies inimigas ocorrem simultaneamente. O desafio que se coloca aos ecólogos e agrónomos é entender de que forma a biodiversidade dos inimigos naturais pode fortalecer o controlo biológico."
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Species of the subgenus Eremoderus Jeanne, 1996, genus Platyderus Stephens, 1827, occurring in continental Africa (excluding Macaronesia) and southwest Asia, are taxonomically revised. The following new species groups and species are defined and described, “weiratheri” group: Platyderus (Eremoderus) chatzakiae, sp. nov. (type locality: Greece, Kalymnos Island, near Stimenia Village); “iranicus-vanensis” group: Platyderus (Eremoderus) felixi, sp. nov. (type locality: Iran, Chahar Mahal va Bakhtiari Province, 10 km west of Naghan Town); Platyderus (Eremoderus) iranicus, sp. nov. (type locality: Iran, Chahar Mahal va Bakhtiari Province, 7 km NE Naghan Town); Platyderus (Eremoderus) vanensis, sp. nov. (type locality: Turkey, Van Province, Gevaş Town); Platyderus (Eremoderus) vrabeci, sp. nov. (type locality: Turkey, Nemrut Daği); “lassallei” group: Platyderus (Eremoderus) lassallei, sp. nov. (type locality: Iran, Mazandaran Province, between Nur City and Lavij Village); “davatchii” group: Platyderus (Eremoderus) klapperichi, sp. nov. (type locality: Iran, Mazandaran Province, Damavand, 2000 m); “afghanistanicus” group: Platyderus (Eremoderus) afghanistanicus, sp. nov. (type locality: Afghanistan, “Habatah”); “languidus” group: Platyderus (Eremoderus) arabicus, sp. nov. (type locality: Saudi Arabia, “Hedjaz”); Platyderus (Eremoderus) brunki, sp. nov. (type locality: Republic of Yemen, Thula District, between Kaukaban and Shibam); Platyderus (Eremoderus) irakensis, sp. nov. (type locality: Iraq, Ar Rutba District, 115 km E Ar-Rutbah Town); Platyderus (Eremoderus) jordanensis, sp. nov. (type locality: Jordan, Al-Betrā’ District, Little Petra). Six previously described species — P. brunneus Karsch, P. insignitus Bedel, P. languidus Reiche & Saulcy, P. ledouxi Morvan, P. taghizadehi Morvan, and P. weiratheri Mařan — are redescribed based on type and/or non-type material. P. davatchii Morvan placed as a member of the subgenus was not treated due to the lack of material available for study. The following new nomenclature acts are proposed: Platyderus brunneus Karsch, 1881, stat. rev., is removed from synonymy with Feronia languida Reiche & Saulcy, 1855; Platyderus elegans Bedel, 1900, syn. nov., is proposed as junior synonym of Platyderus brunneus Karsch, 1881; Platyderus ferrantei Reitter, 1909 is proposed as subspecies Platyderus brunneus ferrantei Reitter, 1909, stat. nov. In order to preserve the stability of nomenclature, lectotypes are designated for: Feronia languida Reiche & Saulcy, Platyderus brunneus Karsch, and Platyderus weiratheri Mařan. Keys to identification of the male and female specimens of the species from the regions studied are provided.
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Two new species of the genus Laemostenus Bonelli sg. Antisphodrus Schaufuss of the bodemeyeri species-group are described, illustrated and compared with the related species: Laemostenus (Antisphodrus) bozdagensis sp. nov. (Type locality Manisa, Bozdağlar) and Laemostenus (Antisphodrus) binboga sp. nov. (Type locality Kayseri, Sarız, Binboğa Dağları). These new species were collected with subterranean pitfall traps in the mesovoid shallow substratum (MSS). Additional faunistic and systematic comments, identification key and check-list for Turkish species of the bodemeyeri species group are also presented. Distribution of the bodemeyeri species group is mapped.
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Based on the study of approximately 400 specimens, we give an overview of the systematics and taxonomy, distribution, dispersal power, and habitat preferences of the carabids belonging to the tribes Anthiini, Helluonini, Dryptini, and Zuphiini in the southern Levant (Egypt: Sinai, Israel and Jordan). We provide identification keys for the members of the given taxa in this region. Eleven species of the Zuphi-itae sensu Ober & Maddison (2008) have previously been published from the southern Levant. Our study with rigorous examinations of verifiable records up-dated the known distribution ranges of six species, though the total number of species which occur in the given region remains eleven. - The following two new species are described: Zuphium orbachi spec. nov., which is similar to Zuphium nu­ midicum Lucas, 1846, but differs in its elongate body shape, specific form of aedea-gus and further characters. Parazuphium salmoni spec. nov., a microphthalmic spe-cies from the superficial underground compartment or in deep soil horizons in the Upper Galilee, has robust antennae and legs, but has an aedeagus similar to that of P. chevrolatii Castelnau de Laporte, 1833. -We compiled a list of the 24 known subterranean Zuphiini species (including Parazuphium salmoni spec. nov.), all are restricted to the subtropical and tropical zones. - The following taxonomic acts are proposed: Anthia (Thermophilum) sexmaculata marginata Latreille, 1823, stat. rest.; Zuphium axaridis Iablokoff-Khnzorian, 1972, syn. nov. of Zuphium cilicium Peyron, 1858; Zuphium olens kochi Schatzmayr, 1936, syn. nov. of Zuphium olens (P. Rossi, 1790) (colour variation). - We present first records of: Macrocheilus saulcyi Chevro-lat, 1854 for Jordan; Zuphium olens (P. Rossi, 1790) for Jordan; Zuphium cilicium Peyron, 1858 for Iran; Zuphium fuscum Gory, 1931 for Yemen; Parazuphium chevrolatii (Castelnau de Laporte, 1833) for Greece; Parazuphium damascenum (Fairmaire, 1897) for Cyprus, Greece and Syria; Polistichus fasciolatus (P. Rossi, 1790) for Israel.
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The members of the carabid beetle tribe Cyclosomini s.l. in Israel and adjacent regions (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt) are studied in terms of taxonomy, ecology (including the traits power of dispersal, especially hind wing development, and phenology), and distribution patterns. Material from museum collections and the authors’ field trips is analysed. The delineation of the tribe Cyclosomini s.l. is discussed and the genus Graphipterus Latreille, 1802 is excluded, but the corsyrine ground beetles are included. An illustrated key is presented for the identification of the species known from the Levantine countries (twelve species from the genera Anaulacus W. S. MacLeay, 1825, Somoplatus Dejean, 1829, Discoptera Seme­nov, 1889, Tetragonoderus Dejean, 1829, Atlantomasoreus Mateu, 1984 and Masoreus Dejean, 1821; seven species from Israel). A new species from the northern Negev is described: Atlantomasoreus groneri spec. nov. This species can be differentiated from the two African species of this genus by short antennae, a well-developed gonosubcoxite which is also found in the genus Masoreus, the shape of the pronotum and characters of the aedeagus, especially the large copulatory pieces and the shape of the median lobe. Due to the characters of A. groneri spec. nov. we assume that the genera Masoreus and Atlantomasoreus form a monophyletic lineage. The genus Atlantomasoreus shows a disjunct distribution range and is an element of the periSaharian zone. Israel has a national responsibility for the conservation of the new species A. groneri spec. nov. which lives in shifting sand dunes, an increasingly endangered habitat.
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Based on the study of approximately 700 specimens, we give an overview of the systematics and taxonomy, distribution, dispersal power, and habitat preference of the ground beetles belonging to the tribe Trechini in Israel. We provide an identification key to all Trechini species in Israel (and the adjacent regions in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt), supported by photographs of species with verifiable records. Trechus dayanae spec. nov., a member of the Trechus austriacus group, is described from the Golan Heights and Mount Hermon. The new species is similar to Trechus pamphylicus but can be distinguished by its colour, microsculpture, length of antennae, shape of pronotum, and characteristics of the aedeagus. Type material of Trechus labruleriei and Trechus libanenis was studied and photographed. The species rank of T. labruleriei (stat. nov.) is re-established. At least five species of Trechini occur in Israel (Perileptus stierlini, Trechus crucifer, T. quadristriatus, T. dayanae spec. nov., and T. saulcyanus); for three further species (Perileptus areolatus, Trechoblemus micros, Trechus labruleriei) we are not aware of any verifiable records, but past, or current, occurrence of the species is possible; the published record of Trechus libanensis from Israel was, beyond a doubt, a misidentification.
Catalogue of Palaearctic Coleoptera. 1. Archostemata-Myxophaga-Adephaga
  • A Casale
Casale A. 2003. Sphodrina. Pp. 532-544. In: I. Löbl & A. Smetana (eds), Catalogue of Palaearctic Coleoptera. 1. Archostemata-Myxophaga-Adephaga. Apollo Books, Stenstrup.
New or little known Laemostenus species from the Near and Middle East (Coleoptera, Carabidae: Sphodrini)
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Casale A., Wrase D.W. 2012. New or little known Laemostenus species from the Near and Middle East (Coleoptera, Carabidae: Sphodrini). Linzer biologische Beiträge, 44(2): 1111-1127.
Catalogue raisonné des coléoptères de la Syrie et de l'île de Chypre. 1 re partie
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Piochard de la Brûlerie C.J. 1876. Catalogue raisonné des coléoptères de la Syrie et de l'île de Chypre. 1 re partie. Annales de la Société entomologique de France (5) 5 [1875]: 305-448.