Contributions to Zoology, 81 (1) – 2012Valerio Scali; Liliana Milani; Marco Passamonti: Revision of the stick insect genus Leptynia: description of new taxa, speciation mechanism and phylogeography

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Leptynia attenuata iberica subsp. n.

The specimens of this taxon come from both the northern Portuguese areas of Guarda (Serra da Estrêla) and the Spanish locations on the Sierra de Peña de Francia (see map, Fig. 1; Table 1). Its definition resides on the genetic distances and the likely phyletic relationships based on the mitochondrial cox2 gene and allozyme data, respectively (see also Passamonti et al., 2004). Its karyotype too fits in the L. attenuata for number, structure and sex-chromosome formula (2n = 36, XX/XY) (Passamonti et al., 1999); its structural differentiation is too weak to be diagnostic.

Both male and female size is, on average, just smaller than those of L. attenuata attenuata, but larger than that of L. attenuata algarvica. Its morphological characterization is widely incomplete being actually limited to the shape of the subanal vomer base and cercus tooth.

From the direct inspection of the holotype and making reference to Table 4, we can observe that its colouration is mainly brown on the tergites and cinnamon on the sternites, while the eye has a blackish tinge, deeper in the posterior half. The colour distribution pattern is the one shared by most L. attenuata specimens, but the two retroocular stripes on the genae run very close each other and the two dorsal stripes are so wide to fuse on the median line over the whole body length; as usual, each brown stripe is externally accompanied by a white narrow line. As already pointed out for the other Leptynia taxa, the meso- and meta-notum bear a faint median carina, which is also found on the anal tergite.

Derivatio nominis. The subspecies is up to now the only one found to spread in both Portuguese (Guarda area) and Spanish (Peña de Francia and, further north, west of Villablino) locations in the central Iberian peninsula; this geographical feature has suggested us the denomination.