The Maghreb – one more important biodiversity hot spot for tiger beetle fauna (Coleoptera, Carabidae, Cicindelinae) in the Mediterranean region
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The tiger beetle fauna of the Maghreb region is one of the richest in the Palaearctic, including 22 species and 5 subspecies and 19% of all Palaearctic species of Cicindelinae. Assembled by their chorotypes, the Maghreb tiger beetles fall into eight different groups that include Maghreb endemics (26% of fauna), Mediterranean (7%), West Mediterranean (40%), North African (4%), Mediterranean-Westturanian (4%), West Palaearctic (4%), Afrotropico-Indo-Mediterranean (4%), and Saharian (11%) species. The Mediterranean Sclerophyl and Atlas Steppe are the Maghreb biogeographical provinces with the highest species richness, while the Sahara Desert has the lowest Cicindelinae diversity. Twenty-five cicindelid species and subspecies (93% of Maghreb fauna) are restricted to only one or two habitat types in lowland areas. Only Calomera littoralis littoralis and Lophyra flexuosa flexuosa are recognized as eurytopic species and occur in three types of habitat. The highest tiger beetle diversity characterizes salt marshes and river banks (in both cases 11 species and subspecies or 41% of Maghreb fauna). Approximately 85% of all Maghreb tiger beetle species and subspecies are found in habitats potentially endangered by human activity.
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