Sunday, 15 March 2015

Two new species of cave-dwelling Leptodirine Beetles from Montenegro.


Beetles of the Leptodirine genus Anthroherpon, are known from cave systems across the Dinaric Mountain Range of the Balkan Peninsula, an area considered a global biodiversity hotspot for cave-dwelling animals. The genus shows a high level of specialization to this habitat, with very long limbs and appendages and an elongate head and forebody.

In a paper published in the journal Zootaxa on 4 February 2015, Iva Njunjić of the Department of Biology and Ecology at the University of Novi Sad and the Institut de Systématique, Evolution, Biodiversité at the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Michel Perreau of the Université Paris and Dragan Pavićević of the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia describe two new species of Anthroherpon from cave systems in northern Montenegro.

The first new species is named Anthroherpon sinjajevina, in reference to Mount Sinjajevina, the specimens from which the species is described having been collected from Blažova pećina cave, 1470 m above sea-level on Mount Sinjajevina, close to the village of Rudanca. The species is described from 13 male and 22 female specimens. These are 5.6-5.9 mm in length and lack eyes and wings. The antennae of the males are slightly longer than those of the females.

Anthroherpon sinjajevina, male specimen in dorsal view. Scale bar is 1 mm. Njunjić et al. (2015).

The second species is named Anthroherpon cecai, in honour of Aleksandar Milosavljević-Ceca, a speleologist from Belgrade who discovered the first specimens of this species. The species was found in Crna jama pit, at an altitude of 1900 m on Mount Durmitor, close to the village of Mala Crna Gora. The species is described from three male and three female specimens, 6.59-7.00 mm in length and lacking eye and wings. The antennae of the males are slightly longer than those of the females.

Anthroherpon cecai, male specimen in dorsal view. Scale bar is 1 mm. Njunjić et al. (2015).

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