Ita hispanica, Meregalli & Borovec, 2011

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: 1360-1363

publication ID 10.1080/00222933.2011.557550

persistent identifier

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scientific name

Ita hispanica

sp. nov.

Ita hispanica   sp. nov.

(Figure 9)

Type locality

Spain, Zaragoza province , Salinas de Bujaraloz, 41 ◦ 30 ′ N 0 ◦ 08 ′ W. Figure 9. Ita hispanica   , paratype ♂: (A, B) body; (C, E) rostrum; (G) antenna; (H) fore tarsus; (I, J) aedeagus; (K) scales of dorsum and (L) side of elytra. Ita hispanica   , paratype ♀: (D, F) rostrum. Scale bar: (A, B) 1 mm; (C–H) 250 µm; (I, J) 200 µm GoogleMaps   .

Material examined

Holotype ♂: SPAIN, “Spagna, Zaragoza, Salinas de Bujaraloz , m 300, 12.6.[19]84, Meregalli” ( MER).  

Paratypes: same data as the holotype, 132 ex. ( BMNH, BOR, MER, MZH, ZIN); “Sta Pola, Alicante, VI–[19]63, [38 ◦ 12 ′ N 0 ◦ 36 ′ W], F. Español ”, one ♂, one ♀ ( MNCN) GoogleMaps   .


A species of Ita   characterized by the slender scales, incompletely hiding the integument; the elongate elytra, scarcely broadened laterally; the darker femora and antennae.

Description of the male. Head, base of rostrum, pronotum and elytra black; apex of rostrum, segments 4–7 and club of antennae, coxae, base of femora, segment 3 of tarsi and onychium dark ferruginous, apex of femora and tibiae ferruginous, scape and segments 1–3 of funicle yellow to orange (Figures 9A, B). Scales greyish, elongate, narrow, about four times as long as wide, not completely covering integument on head, pronotum and elytra, very sparse on legs (Figures 9K, L). Rostrum comparatively slender, moderately curved, dorsum very strongly and deeply punctured in basal part, progressively more sparsely, but always relatively deeply punctulate in apical half, more densely sculptured on sides, sides slightly irregular from base to antennal insertion, moderately and linearly widened from antennal insertion to apex (Figures 9C, E). Scrobes deep and wide, scarcely extended behind, upper and lower margins subparallel, straight. Antennal scape narrow, subsinuate, scarcely widened in apical part, segment 1 of funicle moderately conical, twice as long as wide, segments 2– 4 subquadrate, 5–7 globose; club oval-elliptical (Figure 9G). Pronotum subconical, with scarcely rounded sides, maximum width in basal third. Elytra scarcely convex, with feebly broadened sides, maximum width beyond mid-length. Tarsi short, segments 1 and 2 subcylindrical, weakly broadened apicad, about twice as long as wide, segment 1 moderately longer than 2, segment 3 small, shorter than segment 2, lobes scarcely widened; onychium relatively short, slightly longer than segment 1 (Figure 9H). Aedeagus scarcely curved, dorsum of median lobe with membranous part wide, slightly wider than sclerotized margins, sides weakly and regularly converging apicad, lamella short and upwards curved (Figures 9I, J).

Description of the female and variation. Size larger. Rostrum scarcely and somewhat irregularly curved, slightly gibbous near base, dorsum matt in basal part, rugose, irregularly punctured, smooth in apical half, sides moderately and linearly widened from base to antennal insertion, slightly concave in apical half, scarcely broadened from antennal insertion to apex (Figures 9D, F).

The variation among the topotypic specimens is limited; it mainly concerns the rostrum, which can be slightly narrower at the base in some specimens; occasionally its sculpture can be shallower; the same kind of variation is present in the female rostrum. Size: body length ranges between 1.70 and 1.90 mm in the male and 2.00 and 2.15 mm in the female. The two specimens from Alicante show minor differences in the shape of the rostrum, which is less robust, shorter from the antennal insertion to the apex and a little narrower in its basal part; its sides are slightly more concave, particularly in the female, the sculpture is shallower and the integument glossier. The colour of the appendages and the shape and density of the scales come within the range of variation of the topotypic specimens.


This species’ name refers to its range in Spain, the Roman Hispania   .

Natural history

The topotypic population was found on Chenopod shrubs, possibly Suaeda vera Forssk. ex J.F. Gmelin   var. braun-blanquetii Castroviejo and Pedrol, at the border of a small brackish basin, not far from the village of Bujaraloz, in the Monegros area of the Ebro basin. This region is well-known for its geological peculiarities (cf. Garcia- Castellanos et al. 2003, and references there cited) and hosts extraordinary floristic and faunistic associations, including several endemites among Invertebrata ( Brecke 1999; Zumeta 2004); these habitats are seriously endangered by agriculture, exploitation of the basins for salt extraction, and in the general absence of a well-defined conservation strategy, and for at least two decades, there has been much concern for the prospects of their survival (e.g. Pedrocchi-Renault and Sanz-Sanz 1991; Torralba and Acin 1999).


The first references to this species were given by Bedel (1895), who cited specimens from Cartagena, identified as I. crassirostris   . Ita hispanica   is probably localized to the eastern coast of Spain, with the apparently isolated population inland in Los Monegros associated with the endorheic system of the Ebro basin; see Biogeography section for some notes regarding these zones.


This species is quite easily differentiated by the slender scales, not completely covering the integument; the slightly darker legs, particularly the femora; the rostrum scarcely broadened at apex; the distinctly oblong elytra, scarcely broadened in the apical third, with ratio length/width about 1.6. Only Ita gracilis   resembles this Spanish species, from which it differs in the even more slender rostrum, with distinctly concave sides in the basal half, and in the nearly completely yellow appendages.


Universidad de Los Andes


Guermonprez Museum


Finnish Museum of Natural History


Russian Academy of Sciences, Zoological Institute, Zoological Museum


Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales