First record of Mordellistena semiferruginea (Coleoptera: Mordellidae) in Italy and analysis of intraspecific variation in the COI gene

Dávid Selnekovič, Ján Kodada, Luca Bartolozzi

Annotationes zoologicae et botanicae, 230: 1–9 (2022)


Published Online: 9th December 2022

Abstract: Mordellistena semiferruginea Reitter, 1911, despite its wide distributional range that spans across Europe and Central Asia, is a rarely encountered member of the family Mordellidae. In this paper, we present the first record of this species in Italy based on 15 individuals captured in Malaise traps. We have compared these individuals with type specimens and provide a differential diagnosis of the species together with high-resolution photographs of the habitus and male genitalia. Additionally, we generated 14 sequences of the standard DNA barcoding fragment of the mitochondrial gene coding for cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI). The analyses of COI sequences showed a relatively high intraspecific divergence reaching 3.65% (p-distance), which is the highest within-species genetic variation documented so far in Mordellidae. Of the total number of 30 nucleotide polymorphisms, only one led to a divergence in the amino acid sequence. The predicted 3D structure of the encoded proteins showed that the variation occurred in Loop 1–2, far from the active site of the protein.

Key words: cytochrome oxidase subunit I, distribution, DNA barcoding, Malaise trap, variability.

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