Ita crassirostris Tournier 1878

Meregalli, Massimo & Borovec, Roman, 2011, Radiation in the halophytic coenoses of the Peri-Tethys: taxonomy and biogeography of the genus Ita (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), Journal of Natural History 45 (21 - 22), pp. 1331-1401: 1352-1355

publication ID 10.1080/00222933.2011.557550

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scientific name

Ita crassirostris Tournier 1878


Ita crassirostris Tournier 1878  

(Figure 6)

Ita crassirostris Tournier 1878   : XIX.

Type locality

Italy, Sicily, Boccadifalco ( Palermo , Italy), 38 ◦ 06 ′ N 13 ◦ 18 ′ E GoogleMaps   .

Material examined

Lectotype (here designated): female specimen with the following labels: 1. “ Sicile, Boc. d. Falc.; 2. Muséum Paris [pr], coll. Tournier [hw]; 3. Ita crassirostris   , Lectotype, 2009 Meregalli and Borovec des.” [red, hw] ( MNHN, coll. Tournier). Even though this is the only type specimen known, Tournier (1878) did not indicate the number of specimens upon which the description was based, thus it must be designated the lectotype.  

Non-type specimens: ITALY, Sicily. “ Ficuzza [37 ◦ 53’ N 13 ◦ 22’ E], 16.IX.1912, F. Vitale ”, two ♂ ( VIT) GoogleMaps   . TUNISIA, “ Tunis, Aïn-Draham [36 ◦ 46’ N 08 ◦ 41’ E], B.v.Bodemeyer ”, one ♀ ( MSNM, general collection) GoogleMaps   .


Male. Head, pronotum and elytra black; rostrum dark ferruginous; scape and segments 1–6 of funicle of antennae yellow, segment 7 and club ferruginous; coxae and trochanters brownish, femora, tibiae and tarsi ferruginous. Scales white, oval, three times as long as wide, completely covering integument on head, pronotum, elytra and underside, smaller and more elongate on legs (Figures 6C, D). Rostrum very short, in lateral view nearly straight, slightly gibbous above antennal insertion, in dorsal view sides linear from base to antennal insertion and very moderately, linearly broadened at apex (Figures 6E, L). Scrobes with upper margin slightly curved downwards, lower margin linear, obliquely directed to lower margin of rostrum. Antennal scape curved forwards, regularly broadened from base to apex; funicle segment 1 very large, conical, twice as long as wide, segment 2 cylindrical, half as long as and much narrower than segment 1, segments 3–7 as long as wide, more or less subquadrate, club elliptical. Pronotum with regularly curved sides, maximum width in basal half. Elytra with distinctly broadened sides in apical third. Tarsi short, segment 1 of fore tarsi twice as long as wide, broadened, segment 2 triangular, slightly longer than wide, segment 3 as long as wide, lobes moderately broadened, onychium as long as segments 2 + 3 together (Figure 6I); middle and hind tarsi longer, segment 1 three times as long as wide, scarcely broadened, segment 2 1.5 times as long as wide, segment 3 with lobes more broadly expanded, onychium as long as segment 1, three times as wide at apex as at base. Median lobe of aedeagus with narrowly sclerotized sides, central membranous part wider than sclerotized sides, sides feebly and sublinearly convergent forward, apical part moderately narrowed, lamella folded upwards (Figures 6J, K).

Description of the female and variation. (Figures 6A, B, lectotype.) Body length 1.48 mm. Same characters as the male, very feebly and regularly curved in lateral view; in dorsal view moderately and linearly broadened from base to apex, scarcely widened at antennal insertion, sides barely concave from antennal insertion to apex; surface from base to antennal insertion with dense longitudinal wrinkles and with oblong punctures; from antennal insertion to apex smooth, very finely and sparsely punctulate (Figures 6F, M). Antennae slightly more slender, segment 1 of funicle less thickened, segments 2–7 subtriangular (Figure 6H). Scrobes very short, upper margin scarcely extended basad, lower margin obliquely directed to underside and extended nearly up to base. Tarsus similar to that of the male (Figure 6I).

The two males differ in the size and the shape of the rostrum, slightly smaller in one specimen, and the interocular space, half as wide as the base of the rostrum in one Figure 6. Ita crassirostris   , lectotype ♀: (A, B) body; (C) scales of dorsum and (D) side of elytra; (F, M) rostrum; (H) antenna. Ita crassirostris   , ♂: (E, L) rostrum; (I) fore tarsus; (J, K) aedeagus. Ita crassirostris, Aïn Draham   , ♀: (G, N) rostrum. Scale bar: (A, B) 1 mm; (E–G, L–N) 250 µm; (H–K) 200 µm.

specimen and nearly as wide as the base of the rostrum in the other one. The female from Aïn-Draham in northern Tunisia is quite similar to the lectotype, differing only in the rostrum, which is slightly shorter, more broadened apicad and more curved in lateral view, nearly completely black, with slightly concave sides; it has a shallower sculpture in the basal part (Figures 6G, N). The taxonomic significance of such a difference, albeit limited, cannot be evaluated as it is based on a single specimen.

Natural history

No data are available. One of the males was infected by an unidentified species of Nematomorpha.


The type specimen was found at Boccadifalco, a locality nowadays integrated in the town of Palermo, that hosts a military airport. Hence, it seems highly probable that the type population does not exist anymore. The locality indicated in the label of the two males ex Vitale collection, “Ficuzza” (a mountain locality south of Palermo ), is doubtful, since no salty habitats are present in the surroundings of Ficuzza , at least nowadays. This species is restricted to Sicily and, in the broad sense, to the northern coasts of Tunisia   .


The particularly short rostrum, strongly broadened apically in both the sexes, is typical of I. crassirostris   . The other western Mediterranean species sharing a rostrum shorter than 0.40 mm in the male (see Key and Table 1) are I. chobauti   , I. gratiosa   sp. nov. and I. hispanica   sp. nov. The last species has the rostrum scarcely broadened at the apex, distinctly darker appendages and more elongate elytra, with narrow scales; the first two species differ in the rostrum with more or less concave sides from the antennal insertion to the apex; Ita chobauti   has the aedeagus with widened sclerotized sides and the female has the rostrum much less broadened towards the apex and with a more basal antennal insertion, whereas I. gratiosa   has the rostrum slightly but distinctly longer and the greyish scales are slightly iridescent.


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle


Museo de Ciencias Naturales de Alava














Ita crassirostris Tournier 1878

Meregalli, Massimo & Borovec, Roman 2011

Ita crassirostris Tournier 1878

Tournier, Reitter 1878