Casale, Achille and Di Giulio, Andrea and Marcia, Paolo and Molinu, Alessandro (2010) The Third instar larva of Speomolops sardous Patrizi, 1955, a cave-dwelling molopine beetle endemic to Eastern Sardinia, with notes on its habitat (Coleoptera, Carabidae). Italian Journal of Zoology, Vol. 77 (2), p. 159-167. eISSN 1748-5851. Article.
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While the larval morphology and peculiar behaviour of several epigean species of molopine beetles (Carabidae: Pterostichini: Molopina) have been known for several years, we know very little about the specialized subterranean species of some genera endemic to the Tyrrhenian area, including Molopidius Jeannel, 1942, Oscadytes Lagar, 1975, Henrotius Jeannel, 1953, Zariqueya Jeannel, 1924, and Speomolops Patrizi, 1955. In this paper, we describe and illustrate the third instar larva of Speomolops sardous Patrizi, 1955, a specialized troglobitic beetle endemic to eastern Sardinia. Diagnostic features include the lack of stemmata; the presence of a longitudinal, membranous furrow along the dorsal surface of the mandibles; a small retinaculum; and a uniquely shaped seta FR8. We compare the morphology of this larva with some of its close relatives in the genera Molops Bonelli, 1810, Tanythrix Schaum, 1858, and Typhlochoromus Moczarsky, 1913. Some data are also given about the habitat and bionomics of the larval stages of Speomolops sardous, which show an obligate, fossorial behaviour into sandy soils in deep zones of large, periodically flooded subterranean systems.
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