Mesoprionus besikanus (Fairmaire, 1855)
[= Prionus Schaufussi Jakovlev, 1887]
[= Prionus tangerianus Sláma, 1996]
[= Prionus batelkai Sláma, 1996]

Subfamilia: PRIONINAE  /  Tribus: PRIONINI
Mesoprionus besikanus
[Photo © Lech Kruszelnicki]

Mesoprionus besikanus is a nocturnal Turano-Mediterranean species with a stealthy lifestyle, sometimes attracted to the light. Ecologically is related to dead, decayed wood, development takes place below the soil surface. The species has been described from Beşik Bay environs (Çanakkale, Turkey) as Prionus besikanus by Léon Marc Herminie Fairmaire in 1855 [▽].

Body length:25 – 50 mm
Life cycle:several years
Adults in:May - August
Host plant:polyphagous, larvae in rotten trunks and roots, mainly deciduous trees
Distribution:Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Cyprus, Liban

The depicted living beetles were collected in: (DR) - Skoutari (Σκουτάρι) village environs (Gytheio municipal unit, East Mani, Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece) on May 29, 2021; (AW) - eastern slopes of Ossa Mt. (Thessaly, Greece) in June-July 2015-2019 by Adam Woźniak. The mounted specimens were collected in Greece.

Collected by Daniel Rydzi and Adam Woźniak

Fairmaire L.M.H.:
Rectifications et descriptions d'espèces nouvelles de Coléoptères de la faune méditerranéenne.
Annales de la Société Entomologique de France, Paris 3 (3): 307-322, 1855. [download pdf icon]

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

The depicted beautiful male of Mesoprionus besikanus, collected in Zaros (Ζαρός) village environs (N35°11′ E24°52′; 1600 m a.s.l., Heraklion regional unit, Crete, Greece) on June 17, 2001, was determined by prominent Prioninae expert Jiří Lorenc as endemic Cretan species Prionus batelkai Sláma, 1996. P. batelkai, described from Zaros environs by our friend Milan E. F. Sláma in 1996 [▽], has been later synonymised with Mesoprionus besikanus (Fairmaire, 1855).

Sláma M.E.F.:
Two new species of the genus Prionus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae).
Folia Heyrovskyana 4 (3): 75-82, 1996. [download pdf icon]

Mesoprionus besikanus - genitalia

Male genitalia of M. besikanus ("P. batelkai" specimen from Crete) in detail: A. aedeagus, B. lateral lobes, C. subgenital plate.
[Photo © David Navrátil]

Mesoprionus besikanus - male
Mesoprionus besikanus - male
Mesoprionus besikanus ♂ [Photo © Daniel Rydzi]
Mesoprionus besikanus - male
Mesoprionus besikanus ♂ [Photo © Adam Woźniak]

Mesoprionus besikanus - female
Mesoprionus besikanus ♀ [Photo © Adam Woźniak]

SubfamiliaPrioninae Latreille, 1802
TribusPrionini Latreille, 1802
GenusMesoprionus Jakovlev, 1887
SpeciesMesoprionus besikanus (Fairmaire, 1855)