Ita gracilis 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: 1355-1356

publication ID 10.1080/00222933.2011.557550

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scientific name

Ita gracilis Tournier 1878


Ita gracilis Tournier 1878  

(Figure 7)

Ita gracilis Tournier 1878   : XIX.

Type locality

Algeria, Blida, 36 ◦ 28 ′ N 02 ◦ 50 ′ E GoogleMaps   .

Material examined

Lectotype (here designated): female specimen with the following labels: 1. “ Blidah , Algerie; 2. Muséum Paris [pr], coll. Tournier [hw]; 3. Ita gracilis   , Lectotype, 2009 Meregalli and Borovec des”. [red, hw] ( MNHN, Tournier coll.). 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.  

Redescription (lectotype)

Head, pronotum and elytra black; rostrum ferruginous; scape and funicle of antennae yellow, club light brownish; coxae dark ferruginous, trochanters, femora, tibiae yellow to very light ferruginous, tarsi light ferruginous, particularly segment 3 and onychium (Figures7A, B). Scales white, elliptical, nearly four times as long as wide, appressed to surface and completely covering integument on pronotum, elytra, underside and femora, very slightly more dense on the posterior part of striae, narrower and more elongate on head and tibiae (Figures 7H, I). Rostrum very slender, moderately and regularly curved in lateral view, sinuate at base at junction with head; in dorsal view distinctly broadened at antennal insertion, sides concave between base and antennal insertion, and again between antennal insertion and apex; surface on dorsum densely punctured at base, punctures progressively sparser and shallower forwards, very minute from antennal insertion to apex; sculpture on sides stronger and deeper, also beyond antennal insertion (Figures 7C, F). Scrobes very short, shallow, margins scarcely extended basad. Antennal scape nearly straight, narrow, weakly thickened from base to apical third, more strongly thickened in apical part; funicle segment 1 conical, three times as long as wide, scarcely broadened at apex, segment 2 cylindrical, half as long and nearly as wide as segment 1, segment 3 slightly longer than wide, segments 4–7 as long as wide, more or less globose, club elliptical (Figure 7E). Pronotum with moderately rounded sides, maximum width near mid-length (Figure 7D). Elytra oblong, rather convex, sides regularly broadened, maximum width at mid-length. 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; 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 broadly expanded, onychium as long as segment 1, three times broader at apex than at base (Figure 7G). Genitalia not examined.

Natural history



Blida is a town in northern Algeria.


This species is very easily differentiated in the female rostrum, whose absolute length and the ratio between length and width at apex are much greater than in all the other species. The relatively narrow scales are similar to those in Ita hispanica   sp. nov., which differs in the darker colour of the antennal funicle and the legs, and in Figure 7. Ita gracilis   , lectotype ♀: (A, B) body; (C, F) rostrum; (D) pronotum; (E) antenna; (G) fore tarsus; (H) scales of dorsum and (I) side of elytra. Scale bar: (A, B) 1 mm; (C–G) 250 µm. the scarcely convex elytra, with barely broadened sides. The other northern African and the Macaronesian species have females with a shorter rostrum, with lower ratio of length/width at the apex, and the elytral vestiture is composed of broader scales, sometimes yellowish-coloured as in some populations of Ita punica   sp. nov.


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle














Ita gracilis Tournier 1878

Meregalli, Massimo & Borovec, Roman 2011

Ita gracilis

Tournier 1878