Radiation in the halophytic coenoses of the Peri-Tethys: taxonomy and biogeography of the genus Ita (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Authors:M. Meregalli, Borovec R.
Journal:Journal of Natural History
Date Published:2011
:Ita, Xeronoma

The weevil genus Ita Tournier, 1878 is revised, its phylogeny inferred and its historical biogeography discussed. Its nomenclatural history is detailed and its taxonomic placement within the Curculionidae is examined; the genus is ascribed to the subfamily Curculioninae, tribe Itini. The type specimens of all the described names referable to this genus were examined and lectotypes designated. Ten new species are described. The synonymy Xeronoma Iablokov-Khnzorian, 1964 = Ita Tournier, 1878 syn. nov. is proposed. The natural history is detailed: all the species for which data are available live in halophytic habitats and are associated with the former family Chenopodiaceae. Inference on phylogeny and hypotheses on historical biogeography are proposed: the genus has probably differentiated not later than the upper Miocene along the south-eastern coasts of the Paratethys; a subsequent radiation occurred as a consequence of the tectonic evolution of the region and through events of dispersion and dispersal.

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