Tmethis pulchripennis (Serville, 1838),

Massa, Bruno, 2013, Pamphagidae (Orthoptera: Caelifera) of North Africa: key to genera and the annotated check-list of species, Zootaxa 3700 (3), pp. 435-475: 440

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Tmethis pulchripennis (Serville, 1838)


Tmethis pulchripennis (Serville, 1838) 

Material examined. Algeria, El Kantara, 1 ♂, 2 ♀; Libya, Tolemais 24. IV.05, 1 ♂; U. Caàm, 2 ♂, 2 ♀; Mizda, 3 ♂, 2 ♀; Tinaiat ben Galan, 2 ♂, 3 ♀; Sebha, 1 ♂; Egypt, 1 ♂, 1 ♀ (BMCP).

According to Uvarov (1943), we may separate males of T. pulchripennis  from T. cisti  by the shape of epiphallus, which in the former has hind lobes relatively small and narrowly separated ( Figs. 59View FIGURES 54 – 59 b, 59 c), whereas in the latter they are large, broadly separated ( Figs. 54View FIGURES 54 – 59 a, 55 a). The shape of the lower valves of the ovipositor, claimed by Uvarov (1943) as diagnostic, actually revealed to be much variable (cf. La Greca 1969). In addition, both sexes of the two species should be separated by spurs of hind tibiae, shorter and stouter in T. pulchripennis  ( Fig. 59View FIGURES 54 – 59 a), long and slender in T. cisti  ( Fig. 54View FIGURES 54 – 59 b). Finally, first tarsal joint in T. pulchripennis  is short, its second pulvillus is not longer than the first or the third ( Fig. 59View FIGURES 54 – 59 a), while in T. cisti  the first tarsal joint is long, and its second pulvillus is longer than the first or third ( Fig. 54View FIGURES 54 – 59 b). Three subspecies have been described, namely pulchripennis  (type locality: Egypt) ( Figs. 52, 53View FIGURES 40 – 53), asiaticus (type locality: Khedeira, Palestine) and algericus (type locality: Algeria); the latter was found to belong to T. cisti  (see above). I would preliminary confirm that the shape of lower valve of females cannot separate T. cisti  from T. pulchripennis  , being a very variable character. T. pulchripennis  has been cited from Algeria (e.g., Maurel 2008, Benkenana et al. 2012, as algerica  , which resulted to belong to T. cisti  ). However, following diagnostic characters above listed, the presence of T. pulchripennis  is here confirmed in Algeria, at least in the eastern area; following the same criteria, future researches might confirm its presence in other areas of the country. In accordance with Uvarov (1943), the Egyptian taxon is smaller than that living in the Middle East, and is characterized by red hind tibiae and edges of inner hind femurs. Nevertheless, biometrics reported in Table 1 show that measurements of North African specimens are bigger than those of Middle East, which in turn show a higher s.d., depending on the higher variability. In addition, among specimens from North Africa some have yellow hind legs.