Integrative taxonomy of the Merodon aberrans (Diptera, Syrphidae) species group: distribution patterns and description of three new species
In this paper, we revise the Merodon aberrans species group of the genus Merodon Meigen, 1803 (Diptera: Syrphidae), providing morphological diagnoses and descriptions, molecular data for three species, as well as an illustrated key and a discussion of the different taxonomic characters used. We also discuss distribution patterns for this species group. The results revealed that the M. aberrans group is composed of five described species (M. aberrans Egger, 1860, M. brevis Paramonov, 1926, M. flavitibius Paramonov, 1926, M. hamifer Sack, 1913, and M. warnckei Hurkmans, 1993) and three new ones, namely M. hermonensis Vujić, Radenković et Likov sp. nov., M. petiolatus Vujić, Radenković et Rojosp. nov., and M. retectus Vujić, Radenković et Likov sp. nov. Following a detailed study of the type material in different entomological collections, the status of several species is revised, one new synonym is proposed (subspecies M. aberrans isperensis Hurkmans, 1993 as junior synonym of M. flavitibius), lectotypes are designated for M. kneri Mik, 1867 and M. flavitibius, and paralectotypes are designated for M. hamifer and M. flavitibius. Seven out of eight species from the M. aberrans group are distributed in the Asian continent, namely all Caucasian countries, Turkey and Iran, confirming the notion about high diversity of Merodon species in these regions, but also highlighting the need for a systematic faunistic research.