Institute Estudios Ceuties

Ceuta, Spain

Institute Estudios Ceuties

Ceuta, Spain
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Ruiz J.L.,Institute Estudios Ceuties | Bahillo P.,Plaza Lopez de Ayala | Lopez-Colon J.I.,Plaza de Madrid 2 | Garcia-Paris M.,CSIC - National Museum of Natural Sciences
Graellsia | Year: 2013

In this study we clarify the taxonomic status and geographic distribution of Apalus cinctus (Pic, 1896), a Mediterranean species included in the group of Apalus bimaculatus (Linnaeus, 1760). Apalus cinctus was only known from a few North African localities mentioned in the original description, and was considered of uncertain taxonomic status. The review of detailed photographs of the type specimen and the study of recently captured specimens allow us to discuss its taxonomic position and to define its diagnostic characters, validating its specific status. Capture or observation of specimens assignable to Apalus cinctus in continental Spain (León, Zamora and Huesca), extends the geographic range of the species considerably, including it within the European Fauna. We question the presence of Apalus bimaculatus in the Iberian peninsula and North Africa, suggesting that it is possibly replaced by A. cinctus.


Abad M.,University of Huelva | Rodriguez-Vidal J.,University of Huelva | Aboumaria K.,Abdelmalek Essaadi University | Zaghloul M.N.,Abdelmalek Essaadi University | And 5 more authors.
Geomorphology | Year: 2013

The Last Interglacial is considered the most suitable episode from which to infer patterns of rapid sea-level change since its climatic conditions were similar to those of the present interglacial. However, specifying the true position of its sea level with high accuracy is very troublesome in the absence of sedimentological, erosional or even palaeontological markers. This study investigates the morphosedimentary evidence (beach deposits, cliff, notch and shore platform) of two highstands registered and dated during MIS 5 stage by U-series dating in the North of Morocco (Strait of Gibraltar). Bioerosive notches and mixed siliciclastic and carbonate deposits, high energy beaches with algal bioherms, were formed in coastal environments during MIS 5a. A sea-level height of +. 10. m asl can be inferred for this substage. The record of MIS 5e substage is less defined in the geomorphological record, consisting of backshore/foreshore deposits located at +. 13 to +. 15. m asl. A tectonic uplift rate of ~. 0.1. mm/yr has been estimated for the last 130 kyr. These data are consistent with models of coastal uplifting calculated for the Strait of Gibraltar. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Mas-Peinado P.,CSIC - National Museum of Natural Sciences | Mas-Peinado P.,Institute Estudios Ceuties | Buckley D.,CSIC - National Museum of Natural Sciences | Garcia-Paris M.,CSIC - National Museum of Natural Sciences | And 4 more authors.
Zoologischer Anzeiger | Year: 2015

The darkling beetle Adesmia cancellata Solier, 1835 (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) with a wide distribution throughout the Arabian Desert, is considered a dominant arthropod in the Qatari desert. To gain insight into the processes that have favored the success of the species in such an extreme environment, we have reconstructed its demographic and evolutionary history through phylogenetic and phylogeographic approaches. We performed a preliminary phylogenetic analysis including samples from the four subgenera within Adesmia. The analysis recovered two main clades that included species inhabiting the Arabian Desert and the Maghreb/North Africa region, reflecting a parallel evolutionary history of the two clades along a West-East axis. In one of these clades, Adesmia cancellata from Qatar and Adesmia maroccana from Morocco clustered together with the Onymacris samples from Namib, rendering Adesmia paraphyletic. Phylogeographic patterns were inferred through the analysis of mitochondrial genetic diversity in 33 populations distributed across Qatar. We framed the evolutionary history of the species during the Quaternary glaciations. Our results revealed strong mitochondrial homogeneity and an absence of geographical structure in the studied area. Habitat fragmentation and microhabitat preferences do not seem to be relevant factors in patterning the population genetic structure or in disrupting the cohesiveness of the species throughout the peninsula. A well-differentiated haplotype, however, was found in three individuals from Al Otouriyah. This rare haplotype could correspond to a retained ancestral polymorphism, suggesting that a large population of A. cancellata persisted in the area during the Plesitocene with recurrently expansions and colonizations following the marine transgression/regression cycles. Alternatively, the polymorphism could be representing remnants of past introductions. The lack of geographic structure of mtDNA across Qatar, the relatively low diversity and a recent temporal estimate of haplotype MRCAs, could be indicating then that the species colonized the Qatar peninsula recently, probably during the late Pleistocene. The successive erosion of the genetic diversity by cyclical population bottlenecks caused by the marine transgression/regressions cycles related to glacial/interglacial periods could account for the low levels of differentiation observed. In any case, the species has experienced a demographic growth since 30,000-25,000 yrs ago, probably coupled to the increase of aridity conditions in the area. A. cancellata can be considered a good example of the importance of past aridity episodes for population growth and diversification within the group, which has led darkling beetles to become one of the most impressive evolutionary radiations in desert biotas worldwide. © 2015 Elsevier GmbH.


Ramos J.,University of Cádiz | Bernal D.,University of Cádiz | Vijande E.,University of Cádiz | Cantillo J.J.,University of Cádiz | And 15 more authors.
Comptes Rendus - Palevol | Year: 2015

The Shelter of Benzú is located near the city of Ceuta, in North Africa. We are currently working on the final stage of the scientific report of the activities carried out in the last years. We have done an evaluation, although still not final, of geological, stratigraphic, chronological, and ecological data as well as the different resources used by prehistoric societies. We emphasize the technological data for the archaeological products and for lifestyles. Geological and paleoecological bases of the historical region of the Strait of Gibraltar provide great similarities between the European and North African shores. The shelter of Benzú has a sequence of seven archaeological levels with a clearly defined technology belonging to Mode 3 concept. The similarities with the sets of the southern Iberian Peninsula are evident. We also emphasize the exploitation of marine resources by hunter-gatherer societies since the beginning of the Middle Pleistocene sequence. With these archaeological bases and the context of recent studies in the North African region, we value the possible relationships and contacts between societies on both sides of the historical region of the Strait of Gibraltar. © 2014 Académie des sciences.


Hycleus duodecimmaculatus (Coleoptera, Meloidae, Mylabrini) is a poorly known species endemic to Morocco. Its geographic range extends along the coastal-subcoastal fringe of the Atlantic Coast, between Larache and Tiznit region (Arbaa Ait Ahmed). In this paper we study more than a hundred specimens, mostly preserved in the collection of the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN-CSIC, Spain). We provide new geographic records, including the Western Rif and confirm its presence in Marrakech (northwestern slopes of the High Atlas). Because of the scarcity of information, disperse and sometimes erroneous, we synthesize information available on chorology and phenology, and characterize the typology of the species’ habitat. From a taxonomic point of view, we redefine the species’ diagnostic characters and illustrate various aspects of the intra- and interpopulational morphological variability. © 2014 SAM y CSIC.


The scientific collections of the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN-CSIC, Madrid) hold an extense set of entomological materials collected in Morocco along the first decades of the XXth century by the preeminent naturalist M. Martínez de la Escalera. Morphological studies of the specimens of the genus Meloe Linnaeus, 1758 (Coleoptera: Meloidae) reveals the existence of populations morphologically differentiated along the coastal regions of Essaouira and Ifni. These populations are included within the Meloe rugosus Marsham, 1802 species group in the subgenus Eurymeloe Reitter, 1911. Their differential traits with respect to all other North African and European species of the Meloe rugosus species group are constant, and permit considering these populations as a taxonomic independent unit described herein, Meloe baamarani n. sp. This new species is characterized by having a black, opaque, general coloration all over the body and appendages; black short vestiture; broad head with broadly rounded temples, without median longitudinal groove; long antennae, with segments III to VIII subcylindrical and longer than wide; pronotum transverse, with convergent sides toward the base, without median groove; head and pronotum punctuation dense; aedeagus narrow, median lobe wide and strong, dorsally sinuous, with ventral hooks close to the apex. Meloe baamarani can be only confused on the western regions of northern Africa with Meloe mediterraneus Müller, 1925. This species shares a general appearance with M. baamarani, but differs in many morphological traits. Among those, tegument micro-reticulation, absence of median groove along the head, pronotum morphology and macrosculpture, and configuration of the male genitalia, are included. © 2015 SAM y CSIC.


A species of the genus Tropinota Mulsant, 1842, T. iec sp. n., is described using specimens from northwesternMorocco (region of Tangier-Tetouan). This new species is included in subgenus Epicometis Burmeister,1842, because it shows the main diagnostic characters of the subgenus: pronotum without smooth areas and5th interstria not strongly elevated as a keel and not bifurcated at the base. Diagnostic traits of T. iec sp. n. aredefined, and differential characters with respect to all other species of Epicometis discussed. Based on morphologicaltraits, the closest species to T. iec sp. n. is Tropinota (Epicometis) hirta (Poda von Neuhaus, 1761).Tropinota iec sp. n. differs from T. hirta in tegument shine, density of corporal pilosity, pronotal and elytralpunctuation, tarsal length, punctuation of the mesosternal plate, and also in the structure of the aedeagus, withparameri clearly widening along the apical region in T. iec. Main morphological differences between the newspecies and the other two species of Tropinota inhabiting northern Africa, T. (Tropinota) squalida (Scopoli, 1763)and T. (Hemiopta) bleusei (Bedel, 1896), are also indicated. Finally, the presence of T. hirta in Morocco, wherepossibly it has been confused with T. iec sp. n., is also discussed. © 2015 SAM y CSIC.


Garcia-Paris M.,CSIC - National Museum of Natural Sciences | Ruiz J.L.,Institute Estudios Ceuties | Sanchez-Vialas A.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Lopez-Estrada E.K.,National Autonomous University of Mexico
Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad | Year: 2016

The study of specimens of Epicauta held at the collection of the Museo del Instituto de Zoología Aplicada (MIZA, Venezuela) allowed us to discover specimens with singular morphological traits from the states of Lara and Falcón. The characters shown by these specimens do not permit to assign them to any of the known species of the genus, and thus we consider that they represent a new species: Epicauta falcolarandina sp. nov. The new species is included in the Epicauta vittata species group. E. falcolarandina differs at first glance from all other Venezuelan species of the E. vittata species group (Epicauta aragua and Epicauta apure) because it presents the ventral blade of the tarsal claws curved and of similar width and length than the dorsal one. The characteristic coloration pattern of E. falcolarandina, which vaguely resembles the pattern displayed by Epicauta leopardina, differs from all other species of the E. vittata species group. A particular trait of E. falcolarandina, shared with Epicauta abadona, is that the coloration of the pilosity does not match the color of the tegument. Most of the surface of the elytra of E. falcolarandina, including almost all dark zones, is covered by a whitish-yellow pilosity. © 2016 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Biología


Garcia-Paris M.,CSIC - National Museum of Natural Sciences | Ruiz J.L.,Institute Estudios Ceuties
Graellsia | Year: 2013

We describe a morphologically remarkable new species of the Epicauta cupraeola species group from the highlands of the State of Nayarit, Mexico. The external appearance of Epicauta cora sp. nov., is similar to that of Epicauta rufipennis and Epicauta diana, but it is distinct from both species based on male antennae structure, shape and pilosity of the head and pronotum, color of pronotal pilosity, and male fore-tarsal structure. The nine species integrating now the E. cupraeola species group have been revised. This study of 323 specimens, including diverse type material, confirms the synonymy of Cantharis rufescens with Epicauta basimacula first proposed by Pinto (1991), and reports new geographic records for Mexican taxa. The species of the E. cupraeola group are included in a key and illustrated photographically, including type specimens of five taxa. A phylogenetic re-analysis of the E. cupraeola species group results in the placement of the new species as sister to E. rufipennis, which together form a sister clade to the remaining species of the E. cupraeola group.


Extensive morphological variability in Nemognatinae has often led to proliferation of species descriptions. Most species of Nemognathinae are seldom encountered in nature and some species remain only known by the specimens used for the original descriptions. Two examples of this problem are represented by Sitaris lativentris Schaufuss, 1861 and Sitaris melanurus Küster, 1849, both described from Spain. The rediscovery of specimens morphologically assignable to S. lativentris in southern Spain, and a careful reading of the original description of S. melanurus, allow us to shed light on the taxonomic status of these enigmatic taxa. Sitaris lativentris has been considered a synonym of Sitaris solieri Pecchioli, 1840 until now; however, neither the lectotype of S. lativentris (here designated), nor the newly found specimens morphologically assignable to S. lativentris, correspond to S. solieri, except in coloration. Alternatively, comparisons between S. lativentris and S. muralis did not render any differences, except in the pattern of elytral coloration and coloration of the pilosity, both variable in other species of Nemognathinae. Therefore S. lativentris is hereby synonymised with S. muralis (new synonymy). The identity of Sitaris melanurus has been overlooked by most researchers, probably because the type specimens seem to be lost. However, the original description provides sufficient information to discard the inclusion of the taxon in Sitaris. Morphological characters presented in the description correspond to traits that, among western European sitarine beetles, are only present in Stenoria apicalis (Latreille, 1804). Küster's (1849) description corresponds to one of the most frequent color variants of this species. As a consequence we include the name S. melanurus as a new synonym of S. apicalis.

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