Cucujus haematodes caucasicus
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At the beginning of this investigation we faced the possibility that the newly described taxon may belong to another already known form of the haematodes group. In Europe only a putative subspecies or relative of haematodes was known: Cucujus caucasicus Motschulsky, 1845. Horák and Chobot (2009) are of the opinion that: “The state of Cucujus haematodes caucasicus is more dubious, however, the main difference from the putative subspecies is the bright red color of the adult mandibles; also, the larval characters correspond with those of a separate species (Mamaev et al. 1977)”. The original description of Motschulsky sounds as follows: “Beaucup plus grand et plus allongé que le C. depressus, auquel il ressemble pour les couleurs et le fascies. Le corselet est plus transversal. J’ai pris cette belle espèce sur les Alpes du Caucase, sous l’écorce d’un hêtre”. There is no doubt that the “facies” of Cucujus caucasicus was the same of a Cucujus haematodes, but larger and with broader pronotum. Also the larval identification key of Mamaev et al. (1977) speaks for a separate species (or subspecies) status. Thus, we examined the male genitalia of three “caucasicus” individuals found in the National Museum of Prague.
1 ♂ and 1 ♀: Caucasus, “Reitter. Leder.”, determined as: Cucujus haematodes v. caucasicus Motsch.”. 1 ♂: Caucasus, “Reitter. Leder.”, determined as: “ v. caucasicus – Det. Dr. Obenberger”. 1 ♂: Kaukasus, N. W. – Kuban – C. Rost, Berlin. – ex coll. J. Hlisnikowski. Determined as: “Cucujus haematodes Er.”. 1 ♀: Caucasus – Krasnaja Poljana – R. Rous legit. 6.1967. All individuals are conserved in NMP.
A larger Cucujus haematodes with a broad pronotum, almost as wide as the head. Median lobe of the same general shape of Cucujus haematodes, but the apical process of the inner sac vertical, paddle like in lateral view.
Length 16.0–15.5 mm, colour light red, as in Cucujus tulliae sp. n. or in Cucujus haematodes, mandibles yellow with brownish/black apex. Head slightly wider than pronotum, postgenae less protrudent sidewards and more rounded (Fig. 23). Prothorax anteriorly not restricted, as it happens in true Cucujus haematodes, and proportionally larger, the external borders with pronounced, evident teeth. Prosternal apophysis of the same shape of Cucujus haematodes, at the end shortly triangular.
Aedeagus of the same general form of Cucujus haematodes, but a little longer, (Figs 21–22), total length mm 5,2 – 5,3, median lobe ending with a vertically flattened apical process, in lateral view distinctly paddle shaped.
Distribution and habitat
This subspecies or allopatric species inhabits the Caucasian mountains – namely Georgia, Armenia and the three Russian regions – Republic of Adigeyia, Krasnodarskiy Kray and Stavropol’skiy Kray (Horák and Chobot 2009). Key to the adults of the European species of genus Cucujus Fabricius, 1775
- Bonacci, T; Mazzei, A; Horák, J; Brandmayr, P; 2012: Cucujus tulliae sp. n. – an endemic Mediterranean saproxylic beetle from genus Cucujus Fabricius, 1775 (Coleoptera, Cucujidae), and keys for identification of adults and larvae native to Europe ZooKeys, 212: 63-79. doi
- Horák J, Chobot K (2009) Worldwide distribution of saproxylic beetles of the genus Cucujus Fabricius, 1775 (Coleoptera: Cucujidae). In: Buse J Alexander K Assmann T (Eds) Saproxylic beetles – Their role and diversity in European woodland and tree habitats. Pensoft Publishers, Sofia–Moscow, 189–206.
- Mamaev I, Krivosheina V, Potockaya V (1977) [Opredelitel’ lichinok khishchnykh nasekomykh entomofagov stolovykh vrediteley]. Nauka, Moskva.