subfamily Melolonthinae - tribe Hopliini Latreille, 1829

In the Palaearctic region the tribe Hopliini comprises 4 genus and 197 currently valid species: Hoplia Illiger, 1803 (6 subgenera and 170 species) Ectinohoplia Redtembacher, 1867 (25 species), Himalhoplia Sabatinelli, 1983 (1 species), Spinohoplia Sabatinelli, 1997 (1 species). In spite of the large number of species described, many other species need to be described especially from the East Palearctic and Oriental regions while several local forms were described as good species. The phylogenetical relationships are fare to be understood and the taxonomic grouping in genera is still unsatisfactory.

The tribe has representatives species in all zoogeographyc regions where they play an important role as pollinators. However some species in Madagascar are collected in large number at light during the night (personal observation).

Genus Hoplia Illiger, 1803

Image description In the Palaearctic region the genus Hoplia comprises 170 currently valid species-group names in 6 subgenera: Hoplia Illiger, 1803 (52 species), Decamera Mulsant, 1842 (20 species), Euchromoplia Medvedev, 1952 (10 species), Hyperis Dejan, 1833 (2 species), Pseudohoplia Reitter, 1890 (6 species), Sinoplia Medvedev, 1952, plus 79 species ungrouped (incertae sedis).

It is presently impossible to define the geographycal distribution of the genus Hoplia because most of the Hopliini of the World are described under this genus regardless their phylogenetical/taxonomic affinities.

In Asia Minor and Near East only 5 species are known, all from the subgenus Decamera: H.bedzeki Keith, 2002, H.corniculata Reitter, 1890, H.corallipes Reitter, 1884, H.euphratica Zaitzev, 1924, H.praticola Duftschmidt, 1805 and H.pseudophylanthus Petrovitz, 1967. H.semirufa Pic, 1908 is considered as synonymus of H.corniculata.

Hoplia (Decamera) bezdeki Keith, 2002

This species was recently described by Denis Keith on 2 male specimens collected by Daniele Baiocchi from a single locality (Slinfeh, 1300m, 3.VI.2000) in the East Syria, Jabal an Nusayriyah (see Biogeography of Syria). My seach to collect further specimens were until now fruitless. This species is probably the only Hoplia for which the presence is confirmed in the Levant. Keith defines the species as close to Hoplia phylanthus (Fuessly, 1775), long 7 mm, black with mother-of-pearl scales on the elytra and with posterior claw fissured. Download Keith's description paper.

Hoplia bezdeki Paratype
photo D.Keith
Hoplia bezdeki
from Keith, 2002

Hoplia (Decamera) corniculata Reitter, 1890

This species is easy to recognize having the body black and elytra browns and the anterior angles of the clypeus typically angulated and protruded.

Distribution: It is know from Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Lebanon. I have never seen yet any specimen from Lebanon and I consider the presence of this species in the Levant to be confirmed.

Hoplia corniculata
photo G.Sabatinelli
Hoplia corniculata
photo G.Sabatinelli