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Methocha (Hymenoptera Tiphiidae Methochinae)

The genus Methocha in Europe: a discussion on taxonomy, distribution and likely origin of its known species and subspecies (Hymenoptera Tiphiidae Methochinae)

by Gian Luca Agnoli
Bulletin of Insectology 58 (1): 35-47, 2005 - ISSN 1721-8861 [PDF full text 1.1 MB]



An overview of the genus Methocha Latreille, 1804 in Europe is given, with a particular attention to the widespread species Methocha articulata (Latreille, 1792), to the problematic history of its scientific name and to its geographical distribution, producing a preliminary sketch map of presence. A review of the other taxa described from Europe and of the known biotopes of Methocha in Europe is provided. Then, the discovery of Methocha latronum (Guichard, 1972) on the shores of the Lake Baratz, the only natural basin of Sardinia, Italy, is reported. After its description as a Corsican endemite, M. latronum turns out to be a Corsican-Sardinian endemite and the genus Methocha is represented in Italy, as well as in France, by the continental species M. articulata and the insular species M. latronum. A morphological comparison between M. latronum and M. articulata is performed, in order to verify the validity of the former species. M. latronum shows relevant morphological differences from M. articulata: denser punctuation, longer pubescence, coarser surface sculpture, not shining and not polished general appearance, clypeus without any tubercle, pronotum with long depression, hidden propodeal spiracles, reddish gastral metamere I and wider gastral metamere VI. Such differences let us consider M. latronum as a valid distinct species and an isolated vicariant of M. articulata. A proposition to throw light on the names of M. articulata and discussions on its supposed rarity, on the likely origin of M. latronum and on the European distribution of M. articulata are also given.

Keywords: Methocha articulata, Methocha ichneumonides, Methocha latronum, Europe, Italy, Sardinia.


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For citation purposes
Agnoli G.L., website: Methocha, interim version 28-Jul-2011 , URL: