Ita gratiosa, 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: 1358-1360

publication ID 10.1080/00222933.2011.557550

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Ita gratiosa

sp. nov.

Ita gratiosa   sp. nov.

(Figure 8)

Type locality

Canary Islands , Isla La Graciosa (Lanzarote), 29 ◦ 15 ′ N 13 ◦ 30 ′ W GoogleMaps   .

Material examined

Holotype ♂: SPAIN, CANARY ISLANDS: “Ins. Graciosa, pr. Lanzarote, 20.3.[19]49, Lindberg” ( MZH).  

Paratypes: same data as the holotype, seven ♀ ( BOR, MER, MZH)   .


A species of Ita   characterized by the short, curved, densely sculptured rostrum; the greyish, slightly iridescent scales completely covering the integument; the relatively short tarsi, with scarcely expanded lobes of the segment 3; the narrowly sclerotised sides of the aedeagus.

Description of the male. Head, pronotum and elytra black; rostrum dark ferruginous; coxae and legs ferruginous, scape and first 3 antennomeres of funicle yellow, remaining part of antennae ferruginous (Figures 8A, B). Scales greyish, slightly iridescent, truncate on posterior margin, three to four times as long as wide, not completely appressed to integument, dense and very regularly distributed and nearly completely hiding the surface, narrower and more widely spaced on head and legs (Figures 8K, L). Rostrum robust, moderately and regularly curved in lateral view, sinuate at base at junction with head, gibbous above antennal insertion; in dorsal view sides distinctly concave from base to antennal insertion, strongly and sublinearly widened at apex; dorsum densely punctured in basal part, punctures aligned longitudinally, wrinkled near base, dorso–lateral part with oblong punctures extended forwards beyond antennal insertion, median part finely punctulate (Figures 8C, E). Scrobes deep, curved downwards, upper and lower margins shortly keeled. Antennal scape straight in basal half, very slightly curved at mid-length, moderately thickened apicad; segment 1 of funicle conical, twice as long as wide, and twice as wide as segment 2 at apex, segment 2 slightly longer than wide, segments 3–7 globose, club elliptical (Figure 8J). Pronotum with irregularly broadened sides, more sharply convergent forwards, maximum width slightly behind mid-length. Elytra oval–oblong, moderately convex, sides linearly and weakly broadened from base to posterior half, regularly rounded at apex. Fore tarsi shorter than middle and hind tarsi, segment 1 of fore tarsi conical, broadened at apex, twice as long as wide, segment 2 similarly shaped, two-thirds as long as segment 1, Figure 8. Ita gratiosa   , holotype ♂: (A, B) body; (C, E) rostrum; (G, H) aedeagus; (I) fore tarsus; (J) antenna; (K) scales of dorsum and (L) side of elytra. Ita gratiosa   , paratype ♀: (D, F) rostrum. Scale bar: (A, B) 1 mm; (C–J) 250 µm.

segment 3 with scarcely broadened lobes, shorter than segment 2; segments 1 and 2 of middle and hind tarsi longer and less broadened; onychium as long as segments 2 + 3 together (Figure 8I). Aedeagus curved, median lobe with narrowly sclerotized margins, central membranous part broader than margins, sides regularly convergent at apex, lamella short, curved upwards in lateral view (Figures 8G, H).

Description of the female and variation. Rostrum moderately and regularly curved in lateral view, moderately concave from base to antennal insertion, nearly linearly broadened from this point to apex (Figures 8D, F); segment 1 of antennal funicle less conical, slightly longer.

All the specimens examined show uniformity of characters.


The meaning of the name Isla La Graciosa is “the nice island”; this name is derived from the Latin gratiosus. The original Latin meaning is not exactly the same as in today’s Spanish language; the specific epithet is used according to the Spanish etymology of the island name.

Natural history

No information was given by the collector. However, the very small island hosts a rich halophytic vegetation, encompassing 11 species of former Chenopodiaceae ( Kunkel, 1971)   , among which are Arthrocnemum fruticosum   and three species of Suaeda   , which could be the host plants.


La Graciosa is a very small island north of Lanzarote. It seems unlikely for this species to be endemic to La Graciosa: according to Fernández and Santos (1983), Salicornioideae   and Salsoloideae associations are also present in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, where Ita gratiosa   might be also present, particularly in the former.


Ita chobauti   has a longer and more slender tarsus, a dorsum with whitish, dull, rather than iridescent scales, the aedeagus is less strongly curved and has broadly sclerotized margins, and the rostrum is slightly less widened at apex in both the sexes. I. crassirostris   has a shorter rostrum and white scales; I. berbera   sp. nov. has whitish scales and a longer rostrum, which is less strongly broadened in its apical part; I. punica   sp. nov. has often grey-yellow scales and lighter colour of the legs.


Finnish Museum of Natural History


Guermonprez Museum


Universidad de Los Andes