Clytus (Clytus) relictus Jacquot, 2022
[= Clytus robertae Mineau & Téocchi, 1986]

Subfamilia: CERAMBYCINAE  /  Tribus: CLYTINI
Clytus relictus

[Photo © David Navrátil, click on the picture for 4K resolution]

Clytus relictus, an extremely rare endemic species to to Alpes de Haute-Provence (South-East France), has been described from Drôme department by Philippe Jacquot in 2022 [✮].

However, the story of this enigmatic longhron beetle begins on June 28, 1984, when André Mineau caught a unique specimen of the genus Clytus near the village of Saint-Laurent (1550 m above sea level, Alpes de Haute-Provence). This Clytus was later described by André Mineau and Pierre Téocchi in honor of André's wife Roberta as Clytus robertae in an article where the description of the species is not formally completed and where it is not explicitly stated that it is a new valid species [❖]. This description does not meet the requirements of the ICZN, and therefore the species name chosen on this occasion has been considered as nomen nudum [✧]. Later, the opinion was generally accepted that it is probably the Turkish species Clytus schneideri Kiesenwetter, 1879, either introduced or with a changed locality, and the synonymy schneideri = robertae was born. The synonymy was proposed without any real comparison between the two species, even though the differences were so obvious! Additionally, as of June 2022, no other specimen was known and original beetle disappeared (André and Roberta Mineau both died on March 13, 2009).

This taxonomic-faunistic enigma did not let our friend Philippe Jacquot sleep, and the result of the survey of possible localities in the Drome departement is the discovery of several specimens of the genus Clytus, which clearly corresponds to the original description of C. robertae. A careful description and notes on the possible bionomics of this extremely interesting and unexpected species are summarized in Phillipe's paper published in November 2022 [✮]. This very rare montane species is probably relict, developing in Alpine buckthorn (Rhamnus alpina), and has a short period of occurrence and therefore escaped attention for decades...

Body length:6.2 - 10.9 mm
Life cycle:2 years [?]
Adults in:June
Host plant:Rhamnus alpina (Alpine buckthorn)
Distribution:an endemic species to Alpes de Haute-Provence (South-East France)

The depicted mounted female beetle (paratype) was collected on Laserpitium siler flowers in Chamaloc village environs (1410 mn a.s.l., Le Diois canton, Drôme department, Rhône-Alpes region, France) on June 5, 2022.

Collected by our friend Philippe Jacquot ( whom we thank for providing all the information on this interesting species and for the loan of a paratype for photographing)

Jacquot P.:
L’Énigme de Clytus robertae Mineau & Teocchi, nomen nudum, enfin résolue ! (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae, Cerambycinae, Clytini).
Biocosme mésogéen, Nice 39 (1-2) : 31-40, 2022. [download pdf icon]

Mineau A. & Téocchi P.:
Un Clytus nouveau pour la faune de France (Coleoptera Cerambycidae).
L'Entomologiste 42 (1): 11-12, 1986. [download pdf icon]

Sama G.:
Contribution à la connaissance des Longicornes de Grèce et d'Asie Mineure (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae).
Biocosme Mésogéen, Nice 12 (4): 101-116, [1995] 1996. [download pdf icon]

Clytus relictus

[Photo © David Navrátil, click on the picture for 4K resolution]

SubfamiliaCerambycinae Latreille, 1802
TribusClytini Mulsant, 1839
GenusClytus Laicharting, 1784
SubgenusClytus Laicharting, 1784
SpeciesClytus (Clytus) relictus Jacquot, 2022