Clunio boudouresquei sp. n. and Thalassosmittia ballestai sp. n., two Tyrrhenian marine species occurring in Scandola Nature Reserve, West Corsica (Diptera: Chironomidae)

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Joel Moubayed-Breil
Jean-Marie Dominici

Abstract

Clunio boudouresquei sp. n. and Thalassosmittia ballestai sp. n. are diagnosed and described based on associated material of male adults, pharate male adults and pupal exuviae recently collected in the marine littoral zone of Scandola Nature Reserve (Cala Litizia, Punta Palazzu, Focolara Bay, West Corsica). While C. boudouresquei sp. n. is described as male and female adults and pupal exuviae, T. ballestai sp. n. is described only as male adult and pupal exuviae. On the basis of some atypical characters found in the male adult and pupal exuviae, both C. boudouresquei sp. n. and T. ballestai sp. n. appear to belong, to a local Tyrrhenian element. Biological cycles of both new species are closely related to alternation between marine and terrestrial ecological conditions, which are strongly reinforced during spring tides of lunar rhythms. Larval stages of both new species are typically marine shore dwellers of the intertidal zone along seacoasts of the Tyrrhenian sub-region, where the biological and ecological quality of marine coastal habitats are being seriously damaged by various anthropogenic activities. In the latter sites, the Lithophyllum byssoides (Lamarck) Foslie pavements (trottoirs, encorbellements) are actually threatened by the massive proliferation of Sea Mussels (Mytilidae), which predominate when changes in water quality and level of pollution become increasingly high. The two new species are considered as pertinent biological indicators of the marine coastal habitats around the Tyrrhenian Region, in particular, those delimited by the mid-littoral large bio-constructions of the red calcified alga L. byssoides, where the larvae of C. boudouresquei sp. n. are exclusively confined. Such threatened species are considered biogeographic Tyrrhenian representatives and indicators of global warming and local climate change in the region, particularly to a rising sea level. Comments on the taxonomic position, ecology and geographical distribution of the new species are given.


 

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How to Cite
Moubayed-Breil, J., & Dominici, J.-M. (2019). Clunio boudouresquei sp. n. and Thalassosmittia ballestai sp. n., two Tyrrhenian marine species occurring in Scandola Nature Reserve, West Corsica (Diptera: Chironomidae). CHIRONOMUS Journal of Chironomidae Research, (32), 4-24. https://doi.org/10.5324/cjcr.v0i32.3078
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Current Research