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Holotype male (HMIM), and 2 males (CB) and 1 male and 2 female paratypes (HMIM), labelled “ Dehbakri, 6.5.1969, Paz.& Hasch.”.
IRAN, Dehbakri (29.0539°N, 57.9131°E); an Iranian town in the Kerman province, about 55 km southwest of Bam, east of Jebal Barez mountain, at 2027 m a.s.l. This mountainous area was characterized by forest until before the second World War (Planhol 1969) but now secondary steppe habitats are widely spread.
A Mylabris species belonging to the nominate subgenus as defined by Pardo Alcaide (1950), Kuzin (1954) and Bologna (1991). Immediately distinguishable from other species of the subgenus by the unique elytral pattern characterized by reduced brown-orange surface and the large extension of black colouration everywhere as Figs 1 and 2. Male gonoforceps in lateral view (Fig. 7) slender. The mesosternum (Fig. 3) is narrowed posteriorly and the setae on its anteriorly modified section are longer than usual.
Body uniformly black, except elytra which have the following pattern: black colouration largely extended everywhere, except brown-orange as follows: at base (along the scutellum excluded), along the external margin except at apex (Figs 1, 2a) (in one specimen the posterior section of the external margin is fragmented in one spot as in Fig. 2b) and with two sub-oval spots, one in the middle, and another on the posterior third; in one specimen, the middle spot is fused to the brown-orange base (Fig. 2c). Setation uniformly black, but ventral side of male foretibiae and foretarsi with golden setae, forming a small pad under the pro- and mesotarsomeres; setation evidently longer on venter than dorsally; setae denser on head and pronotum, sparser on elytra. Body length: 10–15 mm.
Head slightly longer than wide at temples level (excluding mandibles), wider at temples than at eyes; punctures relatively deep, large and irregular, surface among punctures shagreened, shiny on vertex, wrinkled on frons; head capsule subquadrate, temples broadly curved posteriorly and subequal in length to the longitudinal length of eye; frons flat, in the middle with one red spot more or less divided posteriorly; clypeus transverse, convex, with slightly rounded anterior and lateral margins, anteriorly depressed, fronto-clypeal suture clearly visible; labrum only slightly shorter and narrower than clypeus, anterior margin sinuate, longitudinally depressed in the middle; mandibles robust, curved, in lateral view longer than clypeus and labrum together; maxillary palpomere II with very long setae on the posterior side, last maxillary palpomere apically thickened and truncate at apex; antennae (Fig. 4) extending almost to posterior margin of pronotum in male, scapus more than twice as long as pedicellus, pedicellus semi-globular; antennomere III elongate and about 1.2 times as long as IV–V together, IV and V similar in length, VI similar in length to IV and V but slightly widened apically, VIII – X progressively more elongate and apically widened, X subcylindrical, last antennomere elongate and narrowed in the last third, particularly in male.
Pronotum slightly wider than long, narrowed anteriad, convex, without evident depressions or with a superficial rounded depression in the middle of each side, maximum width posterior to middle; punctures almost confluent on anterior and posterior third; elytral pattern as in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 (a, b, c), elytral setation shorter and sparser than that on head and pronotum, erect on the anterior third, recumbent and shorter on the remaining surface; mesosternum longitudinally elevated in the middle, with a clearly modified anterior section (“scutum”), with a slightly depressed oval area with dense and very long setae (Fig. 3); mesepisterna depressed along the anterior margin, which consequently appears to be raised. Legs black, pro- and mesotibial spurs both similar in shape and pointed, the inner metatibial spur stick-like and the external one pointed; femora with mixed short and long setae, setae robust and more elongate on tibiae and tarsi; male foretibiae ventrally with mixed golden and black short and dense setae, in female with short dense black pubescence and also elongate black setae on external side; male pro- and mesotarsomeres with ventral golden setae forming tarsal pads, those of mesotarsomeres smaller.
Sternite VIII deeply emarginate at middle of posterior margin in male, rounded in female. Male genitalia as in Figs 5–8: in lateral view (Fig. 7) the basal part of gonoforceps slender, apical lobe of gonoforceps relatively short, slightly less than half the length of total gonoforceps; in ventral view, gonoforceps as in Fig. 6; aedeagus (Fig. 5) with two distinct subequal hooks, both positioned far from apex and with the same inclination, the proximal one slightly longer; endophallic hook slender and curved (Fig. 5). The apodeme of the spiculum gastrale is variable: most males have this sclerite slender in the middle and clearly narrowed and elongate in the last portion (Fig. 8a) but in a single male it is very wide medially (Fig. 8b).
This new species is named after the Jebal Barez mountain range in Kerman Province, in the north west of which the new species was collected.
The taxonomic revision of the nominate subgenus of Mylabris as well as its phylogenetic study remain in preparation (Pan et al. unpublished). The nominate subgenus at present contains 19 species (Bologna 2008), but at least another four undescribed species are recognized and will be described in a systematic study that includes both morphological and molecular data (Pan etal. unpublished).
For this reason we are unable to discuss in detail the phylogenetic relationships of Mylabris barezensis. This species is clearly distinct from all others of the nominate subgenus by the unique elytral pattern, as well as by the mesosternal “scutum” with dense and very long setae.
Phenetically, Mylabris barezensis is similar to two species of the subgenus Micrabris from Afghanistan, namely afghanica Kaszab, 1953 and marakensis badakhaskanica Kaszab, 1958 (both figured in Kaszab 1958). Similarity is due to the extended black elytral pattern. From both species it can be easily distinguished by setose area on the mesosternum, the wider pronotum, and the shape and position of aedeagal hooks (see Kaszab 1958 for comparison).
The type specimens were previously identified by Zoltán Kaszab, the late Hungarian specialist of Meloidae, as “Mylabris biguttata Gebler”, a species which actually belongs to the mylabrine genus Hycleus, but has a similar elytral pattern. Key to the Iranian species of Mylabris (Mylabris)
- Serri, S; Pan, Z; Bologna, M; 2012: A new Mylabris species from south-eastern Iran and a key to the Iranian species of the nominate subgenus (Coleoptera, Meloidae) ZooKeys, 219: 81-86. doi
- Planhol X (1969) Le déboisement de l’Iran. Annales de Géographie 78: 625-635. doi: 10.3406/geo.1969.15948
- Pardo Alcaide A (1950) Estudios sobre Meloidae. II. Los Mylabrini de la peninsula Iberica, Boletin de Patólogia vegetal y de Entomologia Agricola 17: 61-82.
- Kuzin V (1954) K poznaniyu systemy naryvnikov (Coleoptera, Meloidae, Mylabrini). Trudy Vsesojuznogo Entomologicheskogo Obshestva 44: 336-379. [In Russian]
- Bologna M (1991) Coleoptera Meloidae, Fauna d’Italia. XXVIII.Calderini, Bologna, 541 pp.
- Bologna M (2008) New nomenclatorial and taxonomic acts, and comments, Meloidae; family Meloidae Gyllenhal, 1810. In: Löbl I Smetana A (Eds). Catalogue of Palaearctic Coleoptera 5. Apollo Books, Stenstrup, 45–49: 370-412.
- Kaszab Z (1958) Die Meloiden Afghanistans (Coleoptera). Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 3: 245-312.