A new, isolated population of Dichotrachelus meregallii (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) from the Ortler massif (South Tyrol, Eastern Alps)

Massimo Meregalli, Manfred Kahlen & Alfredo Santovito

The discovery of an isolated population of Dichotrachelus meregallii in the Eastern Alps, in South Tyrol, has stimulated a study, based on morphological and molecular analyses, to compare the new find with the typical population of the Western Alps. The results indicate that the two populations differ only by very few substitutions in the mitochondrial genomic sequences, that do not warrant taxonomic recognition. The new data suggest that the species was originally diffused all along the Alpine chain, and its present relict distribution was probably determined by the Pleistocene climatic events. The phylogenetic relationships of D. ulbrichi, originally referred to the D. meregallii group, were also analysed. Based on its mitochondrial genomic sequences, it belongs to the D. rudeni group.

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