Grammognatha euphratica (Dejean, 1822)

Assmann, Thorsten, Boutaud, Esteve, Buse, Joern, Gebert, Joerg, Drees, Claudia, Friedman, Ariel-Leib-Leonid, Khoury, Fares, Marcus, Tamar, Orbach, Eylon, Ittai Renan,, Schmidt, Constantin & Zumstein, Pascale, 2018, The tiger beetles (Coleoptera, Cicindelidae) of the southern Levant and adjacent territories: from cybertaxonomy to conservation biology, ZooKeys 734, pp. 43-103: 54

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Grammognatha euphratica (Dejean, 1822)


1. Grammognatha euphratica (Dejean, 1822)  


In salty habitats, on the Mediterranean coast in marshlands (often with Anthrocnemum   ). Around the Dead Sea and in the Arava Valley in salty wetlands and in date palm plantations (own observations). Nocturnal. Attracted by light.


Teneral individuals in early spring (Cyprus: February), adults are active until approximately November (own observations). The number of eggs laid per females in a laboratory experiment ranges from 3 to 25 ( Aydın 2011a), which is relatively low for an insect.

Distribution range.

From southern Spain, Morocco and Sardinia to Central Asia ( Cassola 1981; Cassola et al. 2014; Franzen 2001b; Franzen and Gigli 2003; Putchkov and Matalin 2003, 2017).

Distribution in the southern Levant.

Mediterranean Sea coast of the Sinai Peninsula (eastwards to El-Arish) and close to Haifa (Atlit); Red Sea coast of the Sinai Peninsula (incl. near Eilat); in the Dead Sea area (especially in the swamps south of the Dead Sea) and in the Arava Valley ( Franzen 2001b; Nussbaum 1987). Putchkov and Matalin (2003, 2017) list the species for Jordan. Nasir and Katbeh-Bader (2017) cited Putchkov and Matalin (2003), but do not know a record from Jordan. We do not know of any verifiable record from this period. Our record for Jordan: "29.03.2016, Pot Ash City environs, Dead Sea (Tamarisk bushes), saltmarshes, close to the edge of the sink holes in mud clefts" (CGD).

Taxonomic notes.

Grammognatha   Motschulsky, 1850 is frequently ranked as a subgenus of Megacephala   Latreille, 1802, but see Gillett (2009). Darker colored morphs occur frequently in the Dead Sea region and resemble the eastern subspecies Grammognatha armenica   (Laporte de Castelnau, 1834) which occurs westwards to Iran. The dark form also occurs on the Mediterranean Sea coast, though it is rare.


Endangered in Israel. The species is sensitive to disturbances (drainage of habitats, cattle grazing, etc.) ( Aydın 2011b). The populations found along the Mediterranean coast of Israel are in decline, and there is only one known new record in the last two decades (Atlit, late May 2012, record in collection Aligi Bandinelli). Numerous habitats have been destroyed in the Dead Sea region, but the species can sometimes be found in date palm plantations.