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Ubiquitous but Ignored? A Case of Water Beetle in Southeastern Europe

Mičetić Stanković, Vlatka; Bruvo Mađarić, Branka; Kučinić, Mladen (2021) Ubiquitous but Ignored? A Case of Water Beetle in Southeastern Europe. Diversity, 14 (1). ISSN 1424-2818

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Although freshwater habitats, especially springs, are widely recognized as top-priority habitats for monitoring and conservation procedures, their fauna, especially water beetles, are still poorly studied in the southeastern part of Europe. Thus, the dominant water beetle in these habitats, E. bosnica (Zaitzev, 1908) (Insecta: Coleoptera: Elmidae), has been completely ignored and misidentified. This study represents the first review of its taxonomy and its population and ecological traits. Both published and unpublished data are presented and discussed, as well as the results of field sampling in 46 springs and other waterbodies conducted in this region from 2004 to 2019. The identification characters of the male genitalia and the first DNA barcode of the species are presented. The results confirm the close phylogenetic relationship of E. bosnica with E. aenea (Müller, 1806) and E. rioloides (Kuwert, 1890). The species proved to be a useful environmental descriptor and can easily be used as a biological indicator due to its easy identification. The species shows remarkable sensitivity to environmental conditions and inhabits sites that are potentially under increased anthropogenic pressure and could disappear at an alarming rate. Thus, karstic habitats should be included in future conservation and monitoring procedures in this part of Europe.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: crenal fauna; E. bosnica; karst; first review; overlooked
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology
Divisions: Division of Molecular Biology
Depositing User: Kristina Ciglar
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2022 04:01
DOI: 10.3390/d14010026

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