|Notice:||This page is derived from the original publication listed below, whose author(s) should always be credited. Further contributors may edit and improve the content of this page and, consequently, need to be credited as well (see
). Any assessment of factual correctness requires a careful review of the original article as well as of subsequent contributions.
If you are uncertain whether your planned contribution is correct or not, we suggest that you use the associated discussion page instead of editing the page directly.
This page should be cited as follows (rationale):
Citation formats to copy and paste
TY - JOUR
See also the citation download page at the journal.
Bulgaria, Western Rhodopes, Smolyan Municipality, near the village of Smilyan, Kraypatnata peshtera cave, 41.5123° N; 24.7600° E, 780 m.
HT ♂, Bulgaria, Western Rhodopes, Smolyan Municipality, near the village of Smilyan, Kraypatnata peshtera cave, 41.5123° N; 24.7600° E, 780 m, 11.VII.1997, Boyan Petrov leg. (NMNHS). PT: 1 ♀, Bulgaria, Western Rhodopes, Peshtera Municipality, near the town of Peshtera, Snezhanka cave, 42.0092° N; 24.2720° E, 860 m, 17.VI.2005, Petar Beron & Pavel Stoev leg. (CGi).
Note: Male HT was completely dismembered and lacking of abdominal sternites and left metathoracic leg. The drawing of the habitus of this specimen is therefore entirely reconstructed on the basis of individual anatomical parts that are included now in Canada Balsam.
Body small (ABL = mm 1.80 ♂ 2.19 ♀), elongate, rather flattened, anophthalmous. Pubescence very sparse, short, yellow, recumbent.
Head relatively large but narrower than pronotum (WH/WPm = 0.97 ♂, 0.95 ♀), clypeus truncate with the frontoclypeal sulcus distinct. Frontal furrows with posterior round foveae, occiput coarsely and densely punctate. Mandibles slender with a simple apex. Maxillae strongly prominent, penultimate segments of maxillary palpi longer than broad, bearing 4 setae, terminal palpomeres protracted, needle-shaped, with an apical tuft of sensillae (Figs 3-4). Labium (Figs 5-6) with a large median tooth, showing two small basal setae; mentum with a large, rounded, depressed fovea, latero-posteriorly surrounded by a ring of 10-12 setae. Antennae moniliform from the fourth antennomere onwards, long, markedly exceeding the humeral portion of the elytra when stretched backwards. Cephalic chaetotaxy as in the description of the genus.
Pronotum slightly convex, subcordiform (WPa/WPp = 1.42 ♂, 1.54 ♀), with the maximum width at the anterior third (WPm/LP = 1.09 ♂, 1.10 ♀). Anterior angles obtuse and broad. Lateral margin hardly sinuated before the posterior angles, which are rectangular and slightly projecting laterally. Punctures of the disc nearly equal to those of the occiput. Anterior sixth of their length with a pair of marginal setae; basal setae lacking. Scutellum subtriangular, pointed apically, with distinct transverse cells.
Elytra longer than their combined width (WE/LE = 0.62 ♂, 0.66 ♀), widest closely behind one half of their length. Humeral angles rounded but evident; lateral margins without a distinct marginal groove but with edges finely denticulate. Sculpture of elytra distinctly microreticulate consisting of wrinkled lines; striae missing; recurrent striola lacking, disc without discal setiferous punctures. Scutellar pore umbilicate and shifted from its normal position, placed near the front edge of the elytra. Umbilicate series as in Figs 1-2, consisting in 9 setiferous pores; the main umbilicate pores bearing a long seta (sensu Giachino and Vailati in press) are the 2nd, 6th and 9th ones. 5th and 6th pores make a geminate pair, 5th, 7th and 8th decidedly shifted on the disc; 5th pore shifted after the 6th one.
Protarsomeres not dilated in the male. Mesotibiae (Figs 7-8) distally expanded on outwards and fringed with dense bristles, inner angles with additional spurs. All the last tarsomeres of pro- meso- and metatibiae hyaline and with a peculiar shape: widened at the base and narrowed at the apex.
Aedeagus (Fig. 9) with median lobe stout and poorly arcuate; apex, in lateral view, stout, and irregularly sub-squared, slightly bent downwards. Basal bulb of the median lobe small, with the basal orifice greatly expanded dorsally, reaching about one third of the length of the median lobe, delimiting two subequal lateral lobes. Shape of left and right parameres similar to each other, long, strongly widened at the base, sharply restricted, elongated and strongly curved upwards in the apical third. One large and stout coaxial seta at the apex and a second one, frail, small, ventral, in a preapical position. Inner sac with a median copulatory sclerite, clew-shaped with two dorsolateral branches.
Female genitalia as in the description of the genus.
This interesting new species is dedicated to one of its collectors, Dr. Petar Beron, a passionate biospeleologist, former Director of the National Natural History Museum of Sofia and former Vice-President of the Bulgarian Parliament, as a sign of friendship and esteem for the impetus given to the knowledge of the Bulgarian subterranean fauna.
Distribution and ecology
Paralovricia beroni gen. n. sp. n. was discovered in the cave Kraypatnata peshtera (in English: “cave near the way”). The cave (Fig. 12) is situated on the left riverbank of the river Arda, at an altitude of 780 m a.s.l. and approximately 1 km east of the village of Smilyan. It is a diaclase cave with a total length of 38 m, -10 m in depth, and a precipice at the end. The cave entrance is situated about 2-3 meters above the level of the road Smilyan-Rudozem. Air temperature measured in the last chamber is 12°C. The cave has an ascending principal gallery, dripping water in some places and the floor covered with wet clay, rotten logs, and some bat guano. The beetle fauna there consists of Laemostenus plasoni plasoni (Reitter, 1885) and the Leptodirine Gueorguievella petrovi Giachino & Guéorguiev, 2006 (Giachino and Guéorguiev 2006). In this cave the male specimen of Paralovricia beroni gen. n. sp. n. was found digging in rotten wood.
The second known locality (Fig. 12), cave Snezhanka (in English: “Snow-White”) is a national tourist site. This cave is provided with utilities and has limited access to the interior. The cave is situated 5 km southwest of the town of Peshtera, on the left slope over the Novomachlenska reka River, a tributary of the Stara reka River (Petrov and Stoev 2007). It has a total length of 368 m (in the main axis 145 m) and a depth of -18 m. The main chamber measures 48 × 36 m. The female of the new species has been collected in a small right side-gallery immediately after the entrance; this part of the cave is unlit and normally not visited by tourists. The entrance is situated in the midst of a beech forest (Fagetum sylvatica). The beetle fauna inside includes as well Bryaxis sp. (R. Bekchiev det.).
It is worth mentioning that the distance between these two caves is 64-65 km by airline (Fig. 12) and that the same species lives in such a relatively wide distance. This is not only a remote question, but between these points are situated the valley of Vacha River and first and third highest elevations of the Rhodopes. Chernatitsa Mt. (with maximal point Golyam Persenk, 2091 m a.s.l.) in the north and the Perelik Mt. (with maximal point Golyam Perelik, 2191 m a.s.l.) in the south form united mountain ridge with lowest points between them the col Pamporovo (1620 m a.s.l.) and the col Prevala (1665 m a.s.l.). This seems to confirm that the apparent rarity of one species cannot be presumed as synonymous of short range distribution. It may be attributed instead to our lack of bionomic knowledge. Indeed, both caves were visited several times by biospeleologists at any time, but no more specimens from this new genus have been found. For instance, after finding of this new species, the Kraypatnata peshtera Cave was visited six times, and the Snezhanka Cave more than ten times after that. According to Lakota et al. (2002), the species of Lovricia are very rare because of their hidden bionomy. For the time being, we have very scanty information on the life history of these remarkable beetles. It seems very probable that Paralovricia beroni sp. n. just like most known Anillini, is not typical cave-inhabitant. It lives, probably, in the deep network of microcaverns and cracks, as supposed by Giachino and Vailati (2010) for many subterranean beetles, from where penetrates accidentally into people-accessible caves.
As already discussed in the introduction, the systematic position of the genera complex formed by Lovricia and Neolovricia, to which now Paralovricia gen. n. is added, has always been controversial. The lack of knowledge on the morphology of the aedeagus, even in a single known species, together with a too brief, too superficial, or misinterpreted description, of a number of important characters, such as the elytral chaetotaxy, helped to postpone the solution of the problem. In this way, some important phylogenetic characters could not be controlled with certainty because they were misinterpreted or omitted from the original descriptions. For example, we do not know if, even in Lovricia and Neolovricia, scutellar setiferous pores are moved toward the elytral base. While, conversely, an examination of the original drawings, although incomplete (in small specimens drawn without inclusion in Canada Balsam), allows us to say with good approximation that the umbilicate series of Lovricia and Neolovricia are similar to that of Paralovricia.
The three currently known genera, Lovricia, Neolovricia and Paralovricia represent a clear monophyletic unit supported by important synapomorphies that allow us to propose the establishment of a new subtribe.
- Giachino, P; Guéorguiev, B; Vailati, D; 2011: A new remarkable subterranean beetle of the Rhodopes: Paralovricia gen. n. beroni sp. n. belonging to Lovriciina new subtribe (Coleoptera, Carabidae, Trechinae, Bembidiini) ZooKeys, 117: 59-72. doi
- Giachino P, Vailati D (in press) Review of the Anillina of Greece (Coleoptera, Carabidae: Bembidiini). Biodiversity Journal.
- Giachino P, Guéorguiev B (2006) Gueorguievella n. gen. petrovi n. sp. of Leptodirinae from Bulgaria (Coleoptera, Cholevidae). Fragmenta entomologica, Roma, 38 (1):55-63.
- Petrov B, Stoev P (2007) The underground world of the mountain Rhodopes. UNDP, ‘Rodope project’, 86 pp. [In Bulgarian].
- Lakota J, Mlejnek R, Jalžić B (2002) Lovricia aenigmatica – a new species of troglobitic beetle from Croatia (Coleoptera: Carabidae). Natura Croatica, 11 (1):19-25.
- Giachino P, Vailati D (2010) The Subterranean Environment. Hypogean life, concepts and collecting techniques. WBA Handbooks, Verona, 3, 132 pp.