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Technische Universität Dresden (2020)

The Minute Tree-Fungus Beetles (Coleoptera : Ciidae) from the Caspian-Hyrcanian Forest in Northern Iran

Reza Rezaei

Titre : The Minute Tree-Fungus Beetles (Coleoptera : Ciidae) from the Caspian-Hyrcanian Forest in Northern Iran

Auteur : Reza Rezaei

Université de soutenance : Doctor rerum naturalium (Dr. rer. nat.) 2020

Grade : Technische Universität Dresden

Ciidae is a fairly homogenous family of mycetobiont, mycetophagous beetles (Coleoptera, infraorder Cucujiformia), with a worldwide distribution and about 750 described species. They have a body length of 0.5‒7 mm, a mostly uniform colouration from light brown to almost black, and usually a fairly cylindrical body shape. The knowledge on the taxonomy, morphology, phylogenetic relationships, geographic distribution (faunistics), and ecology of Ciidae is quite fragmentary. Part I of the thesis provides the first detailed study of head morphology (by scanning electron microscopy) in a Ciidae species : Cis chinensis. Many new structural elements are detected and named to ease their use in more sophisticated forthcoming taxonomic work. Most head characters are compared with Ciidae from genera Ennearthron, Octotemnus, Ropalodontus, and Xylographus, with a focus on the area between compound eye and buccal cavity. This revealed a great uniformity, with a near-identical structuring of subantennal groove, margin of buccal cavity, anterior tentorial pit, and first antennomere (scapus). A comparison with Tenebrio molitor from the closely related Tenebrionidae (data from the literature) revealed great similarity, but also differences in some characters, such as the absence of a subantennal groove. Part II presents the first study of the Ciidae fauna of the Caspian (or Hyrcanian) Forest of northern Iran, a region known to have conserved much pre-Pleistocene fauna and flora. In 2010‒2018, Ciidae were sampled in 62 localities across the Iranian provinces Gilan, Mazandaran, and Golistan, from below sea level on the Caspian Sea southern coast up to near 2000 m a.s.l. on the northern slopes of the Alborz Mountains. 19 Ciidae species were identified in the basidiomes of 31 species of bracket fungi (Basidiomycetes : mainly Polyporales, Hymenochaetales, and Russulales-Stereaceae). For all Ciidae species taxonomically relevant morphological features are described and illustrated ; the distribution over collecting localities and occurrence in host fungus species are given. An identification key for the species of the area is given. The identification of species is discussed, as well as some morphological characters and their systematic implications, the distribution and ecology of the individual species (especially the pest species Cis chinensis), the evidence from overall patterns with regard to geographic and elevational distribution and fungus host ranges, and evidence on possible faunal links. No previously undescribed Ciidae species was found, but most species are new for Iran. Illustrations are provided for morphological characters, distribution in the area (maps), and coexistence of species (column diagrams).

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Page publiée le 7 janvier 2021