This pages present the study currently ongoing. Most of them are concerning taxonomic groups prevailing in the Levant and Near East but some of the studies are ongoing revisions of large group of Genera of the Oriental region.

Here you can get also the list of my publications on Scarabaeidae and download all the articles!

Study of the populations of Eulasia genei (Glaphyridae)

Image description Eulasia genei Truqui, appears to be a complex of highly similar but separate species. We examine the different populations based on morphological characters with reference to current species taxonomy and try to characterize and to group them morphologically. Collaborating scientist: Marco Uliana and Oz Rittner. Possibly Dirk Ahrens (London) will also examine this topic with DNA.

Biology of the Glaphyridae of Near East

Image description In 2006, I started a systematic collection of the Glaphyridae using fix stations to follow the phenology of the species. Collection of larvae is planned for the winter 2008 – spring 2009 in order to investigate the biology and morphology of the larvae of Glaphyridae. Collaborating scientists: Ahmed Katbeh (for Jordan), Oz Rittner and Avi Schmida & Tamara Keasar (for Israel). With collaboration of Dirk Ahrens unidentified larvae can be attributed to know species using DNA techniques.

Revision of the Glaphyridae of the Near East

Image description Since 2006 I have been doing intensive collections in more than 150 different localities of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Palestine. In 2006 and 2007 I focused Jordan, in 2008 Israel and Syria. The material collected allows to confirm the presence and distribution of the different species of Glaphyridae and also to exclude the presence some species with old records. Particularly important is the definition of the old records “Syria” making reference to the Greater Syria of beginning of XIX century that was including current political Northern Israel and Lebanon. Important research trips are planned for 2009 focusing Lebanon and East Syria. Collaborating scientist: Marco Uliana, Oz Rittner (University of Tel Aviv) and Ahmed Katbeh (University of Jordan).

Description of a new species of Pygopleurus from North Syria

Image description A new species of Pygopleurus belonging to the “ruficollis group” that I collected at the end of winter in Northern Syria (near Aleppo) is under description. This species will be dedicated to Denis Keith. Collaborating scientist: Marco Uliana.

Phylogenesis of Old World Glaphyridae

Image description In order to analyze the phylogenetical relationships between the different species of the Glaphyridae, I preserve in alcohol all the species collected. The DNA work is done by Dirk Ahrens at the Laboratory of Entomology Department of Natural History Museum of London.

Is Tropinota vittula a good species?

Image description The taxonomic value of Tropinota vittula is investigated using the morphological analysis and geographical distribution pattern of T.vittula and T.squalida in Israel. Collaborating scientists: Oz Rittner (University of Tel Aviv). DNA work will be carried out by Dirk Ahrens (Natural History Museum London).

Tropinota hirtiformis and the Tropinota complex in Near East

Image descriptionRecently a new species of Tropinota (T.ilariae Dutto) was described from Israel. A speciments corresponding to the description was also found in Jordan with T.hirta, T.squalida and several specimens that can be attributed to T.hirtiformis but from which they differ for several characters. The Tropinota species complex will be investigated in Israel, Palestine and Jordan using morphological characters and molecular data. Collaborating scientists: Oz Rittner (University of Tel Aviv). DNA work will be carried out by Dirk Ahrens (Natural History Museum London).

Study of phylogenetical relationships between different taxa of the Cetoniinae from Levant and their allopatric members

Image descriptionSeveral species of Cetoniini have populations scattered in Israel and Jordan. I am presently collecting and preserving in alcohol specimens of Potosia cuprea, Cetonia aurata, Aethiessa floralis, in order to compare them with allopatric populations of Mediterranean basin through molecular biology. Collaborating scientists: Oz Rittner (University of Tel Aviv). DNA work will be carried out by Dirk Ahrens (Natural History Museum London).