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Italian Journal of Zoology
ISSN: 1125-0003 (Print) 1748-5851 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tizo20
Sigara basalis (Costa) (Heteroptera, Corixidae),
a valid species: Diagnostic characters and
Massimo Rizzotti Vlach , Maria Vittoria Di Giovanni & Marina SoriceTo cite this article: Massimo Rizzotti Vlach , Maria Vittoria Di Giovanni & Marina Sorice (1996) Sigara basalis (Costa) (Heteroptera, Corixidae), a valid species: Diagnostic
characters and comparative observations, Italian Journal of Zoology, 63:3, 261-269, DOI: 10.1080/11250009609356143
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/11250009609356143
Published online: 28 Jan 2009.
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Sigara basalis (Costa) (Heteroptera,
Corixidae), a valid species: diagnostic
characters and comparative
MASSIMO RIZZOTTI VLACH via Villa Cozza 16, I-37131 Verona (Italy) MARIA VITTORIA DI GIOVANNI MARINA SORICE
Istituto di Zoologia, Università di Perugia, via Elce di Sotto, I-06123 Perugia (Italy)
Investigation of the extensive Italian and European material of the subgenus Sigara provided definitive evidence that Sigara basalis is a valid species. This taxon, whose neotype has been designated, is described again and its distribution, of an endemic type (Apennines), is established. Comparative observations of the three species of
Sigara living in the Italian peninsula (S. basalis, S. dorsalis, and S. striata) revealed that the characters useful for specific identification
are primarily related with the morphology of the parameres and the 8th dextral abdominal tergite.
KEY WORDS: Heteroptera - Corixidae - Sigara s. str. - Taxonomy.
We are grateful to all those who helped us with this paper, either providing information on the species discussed and/or loaning us the material from private collections or collections in their charge: Ivan Bacchi (Gonzaga, Mantua), Manuel Baena (Cordoba), Attilio Carapezza (Palermo), Marta Goula (Universitat de Barcelona), Ernst Heiss (Innsbruck), Alois Kofler (Lienz), Carlo Leonardi and Maurizio Pavesi (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Milan), Giuseppe Osella (Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali, Universita de L'Aquila), Jean Pericart (Montereau), Valter Raineri (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale «G. Doria», Genoa), Jordi Ribes (Barcelona), Augusto Vigna Taglianti and Emanuele Piattella (Istituto di Zoologia, Universita «La Sapienza», Rome), Maria Illuminata Taticchi (Istituto di Idrobiologia e Pescicoltura, Universita di Perugia); Gerhard Zimmermann (Lahntal).
(Received 13 April 1996 - Accepted 17 May 1996)
In the Apennine region of Italy, Di Giovanni et al. (1994) have recently reported the presence of a species of the genus Sigara (subgenus Sigara s. str.), which although studied only preliminarily and partially, ap-peared to be morphologically distinct from the congeners S. dorsalis (Leach, 1817) and 5. striata (Lin-neaus, 1758). In this paper we examine the nomen-clatural status and taxonomic characters of this taxon in detail, and carry out an its comparative analysis.
Costa's description of the corixid species basalis (1843) included the following indication concerning the material he had examined: "Habitat in aquis stagnantibus vel pigre fluentibus; prope Neapolim». Later, Puton (1886) considered this taxon a synonym of S. striata (Lin-naeus), while Jansson's recent revision (1986) identifies it as S. dorsalis (Leach) on the basis of purely distributional considerations. The search for the syntypes (the species had been described on the basis of both the males and females) in the Costa Collection was unsuccessful (Carapezza et al., 1995a), so we must assume these specimens lost for good. However, it is obvious that the taxon already mentioned by Di Giovanni et al. (1994), though not identified on the basis of material from Cam-pania proper, should be attributed to the species described by Costa. This opinion is confirmed by the distribution of the taxon which Di Giovanni et al. (1994) indicated as Sigara sp., which covers the entire Italian peninsula, from Basilicata to Liguria.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Abbreviation list of some of the collections investigated: Car, A. Carapezza (Palermo); DSA, Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali, Universita de L'Aquila; Hss, E. Heiss (Innsbruck); IIP, Istituto di Idrobiologia e Pescicoltura, Universita di Perugia; IZP, Istituto di Zoologia, Universita di Perugia; MGE, general museum collection and Mancini collection, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale «G. Doria», Genoa; MMI, general collection, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Milan; MUR, Museo di Zoologia, Universita «La Sapienza», Rome; RiV, Rizzotti Vlach (Verona).
The following description of Sigara basalis is based on an examination of a series of ten males and ten females from the type locality. The figures are based on material from the type locality.
Family CORIXIDAE Leach, 1815 Genus Sigara Fabricius, 1775
Sigara basalis (Costa, 1843) bona species Corixa basalis Costa, 1843; S. striata sensu Puton,
1889 nee Linnaeus, 1758; S. striata sensu Poisson, 1935 nee Linnaeus, 1758; S. striata sensu Tamanini, 1965 (par-tim) nee Linnaeus, 1758; S. dorsalis sensu Tamanini, 1965 (partim) nee Leach, 1817; S. dorsalis sensu Jansson,
262 M. RIZZOTTI VLACH, M. V. DI GIOVANNI, M. SORICE
1986 (partim) nee Leach, 1817; S. striata sensu Jansson, 1986 (partim) nee Linnaeus, 1758; S. striata sensu Jans-son, 1995 (partim) nee Linnaeus, 1758; S. dorsalis sensu Jansson, 1995 (partim) nee Leach, 1817.
Habitus: see Figure 1.
Size: length 7.12 - 7.7 mm; width of head 2.07 - 2.41 mm.
Colour: general facies medium brown; pronotum crossed by 6-7 yellow transverse lines often ramifying in central portion; fore wings with regular brown transver-se pattern, yellow interspaces wider in distal portion of clava and forming 4-5 transverse bands; claval suture yellow, membrane and corium separated by a thin yellowish line; embolium brownish anteriorly, yellow-brown only in posterior third; head dark yellow; legs light yellow; ventral portion yellow except for base of metasternum, which is brown, and the coxae, which are brownish-yellow; middle portion of mesosternum rarely brownish in female.
Head convex, on average 0.7 times as long as pronotum; interocular space slightly longer than width of eye; frons of male slightly depressed and with very sparse hair.
Pronotum 1.7-1.8 times as wide as long; carina extend-ing from anterior edge for about one-quarter the length of pronotum; lateral angles obtuse, lateral lobe of prothorax with rounded apex (Fig. 2).
Hemelytra with very thin, semi-erect hairs as long as the diameter of hind tibia; post-nodal pruinose area about as long as midtibia.
CO 3 3
Fig. 1 - Habitus of Sigara basalis; a, male; b, female (type locality).
Figs 2-3 - Fig. 1 - Sigara basalis, lateral lobe of prothorax (type locality). Fig. 2 - The same, metaxyphus (type locality).
Metaxyphus short, with edges elevated and rounded apex, and with slight longitudinal depression (Fig. 3).
Fore leg with stridular area on inner face of femur con-sisting of about ten rows of pegs (Fig. 4) and surrounded by pilose area that is larger superiorly; tibia short, with four short bristles on inner surface near insertion of pala; male pala with subparallel sides in proximal and median portion, conic in distal portion, with a proximal row of 11-16 teeth and a distal row of 18-20 teeth (Figs 5-7).
Middle leg with femur, tibia, tarsus and claws long, in the following average ratio: 60:21:21:21; midfemur with short semi-reclinate bristles along inner dorsal surface, ventral portion with two rows of spines; midtibia with spines and bristles along inner surface; midtarsus with a row of spines along inner portion.
Hind leg with femurs, tibia, tarsus 1 and tarsus 2 long, in the following average ratio: 33:31:38:15; hind femurs with five spines and 5-7 long bristles located ventrally in distal third; hind tibia with tuft of hairs in inner proximal portion and inner and outer margins delimited by row of spines.
Male abdomen with dextral asymmetry (Fig. 10); median lobe of 7th abdominal tergite generally glabrous or glabrate, short and variable in apical part: often with rounded margin, only rarely at acute angle (Figs 10-15); right tergite of 8th segment with proximal half of inner margin lobiform; strigil large, rather variable in the num-ber of rows of comb-like teeth: from 8 to 11, often ramified in the distal half, plus some fragments of rows (Figs 24-26)
^- ' * * • « * " • •
" • < > * . > >
** \±*^'Z&'": ''•ft",-- '•'"•'»*•»" ~_*^I2si.'**^r*"?'r?1
Figs 4-9 - Fig. 4 - Sigara basalts, stridular area of femur (type locality). Figs 5-7 - The same, male pala (type locality). Fig. 8 - Sigara dorsalis, male pala (vicinity of Mantua). Fig. 9 - Sigara striata, male pala (South Tyrol).
264 M. RIZZOTTI VLACH, M. V. DI GIOVANNI, M. SORICE
Figs 10-23 - Fig. 10 - Sigara basalts, dorsal view of male abdomen (type locality). Figs 11-15 - The same, variability in the shape and chaetotaxy of the middle lobe of 7th abdominal tergite (type locality). Fig. 16 - Sigara dorsalis, dorsal view of male abdomen (vicinity of Man-tua). Figs 17-22 - The same, variability in the shape and chaetotaxy of the middle lobe of 7th abdominal tergite (vicinity of ManMan-tua). Fig. 23 - Sigara striata, dorsal view of male abdomen (South Tyrol).
Figs 24-32 - Figs 24-26 - Sigara basalis, strigil (type locality). Figs 27-29 - Sigara dorsalis, strigil (vicinity of Mantua). - Figs 30-32 - Sigara
266 M. RIZZOTTI VLACH, M. V. DI GIOVANNI, M. SORICE
triangular proximal part and weakly arcuate distal part, length of the two parts about equal if measured from the characteristic median swelling of the outer margin which, when viewed distally, is variable in form because of the presence-absence of a differently developed 'step'; inner margin generally with slight median 'step'.
Left paramere with quite elongate semi-tubular struc-ture, apex short and rectilinear (Fig. 33).
Type material: from among a series of 60 males and 54 females from the same locality, a male specimen is designated as the neotype, with the following label: Molise (IS) m 900, Montenero V. Cocchiara, 15.X.1993, leg. M. Rizzotti Vlach; the collection locality is the Palude della Zittola: the specimen (RV-005) is deposited in the Rizzotti Vlach Collection (Verona).
Material examined (as per label): LIGURIA: Albenga (SV), X.1954, leg. C. Mancini, 4 cfcf e 1 9 (MGE); idem, idem, idem, 4 cfd" e 7 9 9 (MMI); TOSCANA: Alberese (GR), Uc-cellina, VI. 1977, leg. G. Osella, 2 d"cf (RiV); Alberese (GR), not ind., not ind., 1 cf (MGE) Chiusi (SI), 24.VI.1994, leg. M. Rizzotti Vlach, 3 cfcf e 4 9 9 (RiV); idem, torr. Tresa, idem, leg. M. Sorice, 1 d" e 2 9 9 (IZP);
UMBRIA: Trasimeno (PG), S. Feliciano, IX.1958, leg. C. Mancini, 1 cf (MGE); idem, idem, 30.V.1963, not. ind., 1 C f e l 9 (IIP); idem, Torricella, not ind., leg. C. Mancini, 1 d* e 1 9 (MGE); idem, S. Savino, 30.IX.1960, not ind., 2 cfcf e 1 9 (IZP); idem, idem, 14.VI.1991, leg. M. V. Di Giovanni, 1 d* e 2 9 9 (IZP); idem, Isola Minore, 27.V.1963, not ind., 1 d" e 3 9 9 (IIP); idem, Monte del Lago, 14.VI.1991, leg. M. V. Di Giovanni, 1 d" (IZP); idem, Case Sparse, 14.VI.1991, not ind., 1 d" (IZP); flume Nestore (PG), 22.XI.1986, not ind., 1 d" (IZP); idem, 13-XII.1986, not"ind., 1 cf (IZP); idem, torr. Rigalto, 21.111.1987, not ind., 1 cf (IZP); idem, idem, 21.XI.1987, not ind., 1 cf (IZP); Campello sul Clitunno (PG), loc. Fon-ti del Clitunno, 26.VI.1994, leg. M. Sorice 1 cf e 8 9 9 (IZP); LAZIO: Roma, IV. 1894, leg. F. Silvestri, 1 cf e 1 9 (MGE); idem, Acilia, X.1932, leg. O. Castellani, 1 cf e 5 9 9 (MGE); idem, idem, 9.XII.1932, not ind., 1 d" e 2 9 9 (MUR); idem, idem, 12.XII.1932, leg. O. Castellani, 1 d" (MUR); idem, idem, XII. 1932, idem, 2 cfcf e 1 9 (MMI); idem, idem, 5.XI.196O, idem, 1 cf (MUR); idem, P. Galeria, 22.XI.1941, CNR, 1 d* e 6 9 (MUR); idem, Palidoro, 15-30.VIII.1967, leg. E. Heiss, 1 d" e 2 9 9 (Hss); idem, Castel Porziano, 21.XII. 1989, leg. M. Bazzanti, 1 d" (Car); ABRUZZO: Popoli (PE), sorgenti fiume Pescara,
14.XI.1992, leg. G. Osella, 1 cf (Car); MOUSE: Montenero Val Cocchiara (IS) m 900, Zittola, 17.11.1990, leg. R. Fior-digigli & G. Osella, 19 cfcf e 31 9 9 (DSA); idem, idem, idem, 10.III.1990, idem, 1 cf e 2 9 9 (DSA); idem, idem, idem, 5.IX.1990, idem, 5 cfcf e 9 9 9 (DSA); idem, idem, idem, 12.X.1990, idem, 1 9, (DSA); idem, idem, idem, 12.XI.1990, idem, 1 d" e 3 9 9 (DSA); idem, idem, idem, 17.XI.1990, idem, 1 cf e 5 9 9 (DSA); idem, idem, idem, 14.1.1991, idem, 14 cfcf e 14 9 9 (DSA); idem, idem,
idem, 22.11.1991, idem, 4 cfcf e 4 9 9 (DSA); idem, idem, idem, 11.V.1991, idem, 2 9 9 (DSA); idem, idem, idem, 14.IX.1991, idem, 2 cfcf e 1 9 (DSA); BASILICATA: Mon-talbano (MT), 23.IX.1974, leg. F. Angelini, 2 cfcf (RiV).
All the reports - even quite recent ones such as in Melber (1991), Fiordigigli & Osella (1994) whose material had been redetermined, and Carapezza et al. (1995b) - of 5. dorsalis, S. striata and Sigara sp. in the regions of Italy already mentioned above in the material in-vestigated, are actually to be attributed to 5. basalis. The only Italian region in which it has not been possible to review the material of Sigara s. str. is Calabria, where Ser-vadei (1967) and, more recently, Tamanini (1981) (Gioia Tauro, erroneously reported for Basilicata) reports its presence. However, we think that even these reports can reasonably be attributed to 5. basalis.
From a zoogeographic standpoint, as Di Giovanni et al. (1994) have already pointed out, at least within the limits of our present knowledge, S. basalis can be considered as belonging to a distributional range quite distinct from that of S. dorsalis and S. striata, and as vicariant in the Apennine region of Italy of the closely related S. dorsalis. On the basis of material collected together with S.
ser-vadeii Tamanini along a river (material which we have
unfortunately not had the opportunity to examine), Zim-mermann (personal communication) has indicated to us the probable presence of S. basalis in Corsica (Tarignano) as well. S. basalis must therefore be con-sidered endemic to the Apennine or, perhaps, Apennine-Tyrrhenian distributional range.
The presence of Sigara basalis in various stretches of the Zittola river in Palude della Zittola (Molise) is quite common. According to Fiordigigli & Osella (1994), the temperature of the water in the species collection stations varies from 7° C in October to about 15° C in May (with peaks of 22° C in mid-summer); these values were reported for Sigara striata and Sigara sp., whereas they are really ascribable to Sigara basalis. The beds of the collection localities consist of mud or mud-peat, but the species is to be found above all among hydrophytes along the river banks. We have also effected frequent sampling of the species in other localities, as well as of S.
dorsalis in the Po River Valley and S. striata at Lago alia
Muta (upper Val Venosta), among Ceratophyllum sp.
The external morphology of S. basalis is quite similar to that of the closely related S. dorsalis and S. striata, which are also present in continental Italy (Di Giovanni
et al., 1994). The diagnostic characters of these last two
Figs 33-40 - Fig. 33 - Sigara basalis, left paramere (type locality). Figs 34-36 - The same, right paramere (type locality). Fig. 37 - Sigara
dor-salis, left paramere (vicinity of Verona). Fig. 38 - The same, right paramere (vicinity of Verona). Fig. 39 - Sigara striata, left paramere (South
268 M. RIZZOTTI VLACH, M. V. DI GIOVANNI, M. SORICE
are also briefly discussed here in order to make a thorough comparison of the three species and some con-siderations about the taxonomic characters useful for distinguishing the species. The fourth Italian species belonging to this subgenus - 5. servadeii Tamanini, 1965, endemic to Sardinia and Corsica - is not con-sidered here because of its marked morphological dif-ferences with the other three species. The illustrated material concerning S. dorsalis has been chosen from an examination of 40 male specimens from the province of Mantua (Gonzaga), with the exception of the parameres, which belong to a male from the vicinity of Verona; the material regarding S. striata has been chosen from an examination of 46 males from Lago alia Muta in the upper Val Venosta (South Tyrol), the only Italian station for this species (Di Giovanni et al., 1994).
The male pala is a character that provides little useful information for distinguishing the three species, as can be seen by observing Figures 5-9; the same figures also reveal that in S. basalts the number of teeth in the proximal row presents a considerable variation: from 11 to 16, even though the latter number is the most com-mon. But an analogous variation in the number of teeth, both in the proximal and distal rows, has also been noted in the specimens of S. dorsalis and S. striata.
In the taxonomy of the Corixidae a further discri-minating character considered are the form and chaeto-taxy of the median lobe of the 7th abdominal tergite. However, in the three species investigated here, this character is not very useful, as can be seen in the series of figures that show the variation in this morphological detail in S. basalts (Figs 11-15) and S. dorsalis (Figs 17-22). In S. dorsalis one can see how, besides the con-siderable variety in form (in the case of one specimen illustrated in Figure 19, the form of the lobe is wholly similar to thath frequently found in S. basalts, with a rounded apex), a certain variety in the chaetotaxy is present: from specimens with a glabrous or glabrate lobe (Figs 17-19) to others with rather well developed hairs (Fig. 22), as in S. striata. As far as the latter species is con-cerned, the entire male abdomen is illustrated in Figure 23, while further observations will be made in a paper being prepared by one of the authors (Rizzotti Vlach). In our opinion, specimens of S. dorsalis with strongly developed chaetotaxy in the median lobe of the 7th ab-dominal tergite are not an exception, since this character has also been noted in specimens from southern France (Massif Central and Camargue, deposited in the Pericart Collection). In the S. dorsalis population examined here, only four specimens (10%) have the median lobe of the 7th abdominal tergite (as in Fig. 22) with chaetotaxy similar to what is usually present in S. striata, and four other specimens have much less strongly developed chaetotaxy. In the case of 5. basalts as well one can make analogous considerations about the shape and chaetotaxy of the median lobe of the 7th abdominal tergite: the most common shape is the rounded and glabrous apical portion of the lobe. The form and
chaetotaxy of the median lobe of the 7th abdominal tergite are therefore characters that may have a certain validity for identification only when a wide-ranging statistical survey on their typology has been made on dif-ferent populations of the three species; for the moment, they cannot be considered helpful in any way what-soever for specific definition.
A morphological feature, again in the abdomen, that we consider important, is the form of the 8th dextral ab-dominal tergite, a character that has proven to be uniform in all the material investigated. In S. basalis, this tergite has a characteristic structure, with a lobe in the proximal half (Fig. 10), which would bring this species close to S. striata, though this character is much less ac-centuated in the latter species. In S. dorsalis the inner margin of the 8th dextral abdominal tergite is almost rec-tilinear (Fig. 16), which corresponds with what has been found in material of the species from the type locality (England) that was examined for this purpose. Again with regard to this morphological detail, it must be said that Jansson (1986) has illustrations of the abdominal tergites of a specimen which, on the basis of what has been said above, can most probably be defined as S. basalis. The most obvious characters for specific identification are to be found in the morphology of the three species' parameres, as Di Giovanni et al. (1994) have already stated and, in particular, in the left paramere, which in the case of S. basalis is the identifying character that best
Fig. 41 - Italian stations of Sigara striata (triangle), S. dorsalis (square), S. basalis (circle).
differentiates it from the other two species (Figs 33, 37, 39).
The strigil in S. basalts has a certain variability in the number of rows of comb-like teeth, as was mentioned in the new description. However, it must be said that this variability also exists in S. striata and S. dorsalis (Figs 27-32); in S. striata one can see the extreme variation we noted in the rows of comb-like teeth of the population investigated: from only five rows plus some fragments (Fig. 30) to eight almost entire rows, plus various fragments on the distal margin (Fig. 32). But it must be pointed out that in all three species there is an analogous diversity in the position of the incomplete rows, which are also to be found in the proximal part of the strigil, without there being any clear-cut recurring pattern in this arrangement. The only differentiating character for the three species is the size of the entire strigil, which ranges from small in S. striata to intermediate in 5. dorsalis and, lastly, to large in S. basalis. No other differences can be noted through microscopic examination, though in the photographs of S. striata (Figs 30-32) the constitutive structures can be seen to a lesser degree, which is due simply to the fact that the specimens were collected a short time after their last moult.
As far as the right paramere is concerned, Di Giovanni
et al. (1994) have already clearly demonstrated the gamut
of variability found in 5. basalis (Figs 34-36) with the presence or absence of a 'step' in the distal part, something which in the past led authors to recognize this species - erroneously - as S. dorsalis or S. striata. However, the same organ differs from the one in these two species in its regularly larger size and in a swelling along the outer margin in a median position that in some cases is so evident that it seems to be a 'step'.
As a final consideration of the characters that distinguish the three Italian taxa of the subgenus under investigation (see Fig. 41), our brief discussion clearly shows that in evaluating the morphological differences, for this group of species one must necessarily use a dif-ferent approach with respect to the whole of the taxonomic characters utilized in the classification of the genus Sigara. This is to be seen, for example, in the
subgenus Subsigara, in which the most important mor-phological characters lie in the male pala, whereas in the three species briefly discussed here, the most obvious diagnostic characters are to be found in the morphology of the two parameres and the eighth dextral abdominal tergite.
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