Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi (Ballion, 1870)

C. kushakevitchi, C. elegans and C. panderi are a similar enough group of species. All of them have raised border of the pronotum, and have rather short and wide elytra with a relatively broad margin.
C. kuschakewitschi can be singled out among the other species of the group because its lateral margin of the elytra is almost smooth. Its head is relatively large but less than the one of C. elegans, the sculpture of the elytra is remarkably smooth, and it is invariably of the triploid type with streaks marked by faint punctures and with flat intervals, feebly incised by transverse wrinkles.
The populations we include in C. kuschakewitschi are a little diversified in the body shape, size and profile. The color of the upper body is dark with or without metallic reflections. The shape and extent of the hairy pads under the segments of the male anterior tarsi, characterizes some populations.
C. kuschakewitschi lives in scattered places in central Kazakhstan, in the deserts and steppes to the north and east of the Aral Sea and between it and Lake Balcash. Towards the south is relatively easier to find it in various localities in the Syr-Darya and Shu rivers bacins. Further south it occupies the slopes of Kyrgyz Ala Too and Karzhantau mountain ranges, penetrating respectively into Kyrghyzstan and Uzbekistan. Finally, still in Uzbekistan an isolated small population is found on the slopes of the Nuratau mountains.
Keeping this geographical distribution in mind, the populations of deserts and steppes can be more easily differentiated, also from the morphological point of view, from the more southern ones of the steppes and mountain forests. The latter in turn have two morphotypes, that even being sporadically present throughout their distribution area, tend to respectively characterize the western and eastern populations.


Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi kuschakewitschi (Ballion, 1870)

Callisthenes Kuschakewitschi Ballion, 1870: 323 (described from Kara Tau, Tschemkent) lectotype ♂ designated by Obydov (2002: 44) in Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien
Calosoma (Callisthenes) Kuschakewitschi var. decolor A. Morawitz, 1886: 87 (type locality: Taschkent) syntype ♂ in Zoological Museum of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg (Obydov, 2002: 44)
Calosoma (Callisthenes) Reichei sensu Solsky, 1874: 24 (nec Guérin Méneville, 1842) (from Issyk-Kul and Akmolinsk)
Calosoma (Callisthenes) Solskyi Zaitzev, 1918: 268 (nomen novum pro reichei sensu Solsky, 1874)
Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi Breuning, 1928: 66
Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi var. decolor Breuning, 1928: 66 (partim)
Callisthenes panderi kuschakewitschi Lapouge, 1932: 374
Callisthenes Kuschakewitschi Jeannel, 1940: 192
Callisthenes Kuschakewitschi decolor Jeannel, 1940: 192 (partim)
Callisthenes kuschakewitschi sidzhakensis Obydov, 2008: 23 (type locality: Ugamsky Mt. ridge, Sidzhak vill.) holotype ♂, paratypes 1♂ 1♀ in Timiryazev State Museum of Biology, Moscow

Length 20-31 mm. The various populations collected inside C. kuschakewitschi kuschakewitschi have uniformely rounded pronotum whose maximum width is in the middle part or just above it and rather squat body shape with relatively short elytra. The color of the upper body is dark, glossy with vibrant blu reflections. Normal size hairy pads are present on the ventral side of the first three articles of the anterior tarsi of the males.
C. kuschakewitschi kuschakewitschi lives in the southern part of the bacin of Syr-Darya river in Kazakhstan and along the slopes Karzhantau mountain range, on the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
More south, in Uzbekistan (Ugamsky ridge), Obydov (2008: 23) has described as Callisthenes kuschakewitschi sidzhakensis a population which essentially should have more developed mandibles, of squat form and with stronger micro-sculpture of head and pronotum. In our opinion these differences are too subtle and very difficult to appreciate and do not justify the proposed systematic placement

Examined specimens and literature’s data
Kazakhstan. Qyzylorda prov: Aksumbe (www.inaturalist.org); South Kazakhstan prov: Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve (SB), Tyulkubas (Obydov, 2002: 45), Chimkent, Vysokoe, Babaata, Achisay (Obydov, 2002: 45); Jambyl prov: 20km W Zhanatas (SB), Bugun (Obydov, 2002: 45).
Uzbekistan. Tashkent prov. Karzhantau range: Mingbulok mt 2700m. (SB), Susingen lake 2200m. (SB), Aktash (SB), Chatkal 1400-1600m (Obydov, 2002: 45), Sidzhak village (sub C. kuschakewitschi sidzhakensis, Obydov, 2008: 23).

Notes: Brachypterous. It dwells in the steppes and alpine forests from 1200 to 2300m above sea level. Adults are active from March to June, according to the altitude.
The species is named after the Russian entomologist Jacob Alexander Kuschakewitsch (1826–1866).

Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi kuschakewitschi
(Ballion, 1870)
S. Kazakhstan, Talass Ala Tau, Aksu Djabagly, 11.V.74
Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi kuschakewitschi
(Ballion, 1870)
S. Kazakhstan, Talass Ala Tau, Aksu Djabagly, 11.V.74


Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi plasoni (Born, 1917)

Callisthenes alexanderi Heyden (nomen nudum). Original material: 1 specimen (from Alexander-Gebirge) in Senckenberg Deutsches Entomologisches Institut, Müncheberg (ex coll. Kraatz) (Döbler 1975: 148)
Callisthenes Kuschakewitschi ssp. Plasoni Born, 1917: 12. Original material: 10 specimens (from Semirjetschensk), no repository given
Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi var. plasoni Breuning, 1928: 66
Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi var. decolor Breuning, 1928: 66 (partim)
Callisthenes Kuschakewitschi decolor Jeannel, 1940: 192 (partim)
Callisthenes Kuschakewitschi Plasoni Jeannel, 1940: 192
Calosoma (Callisthenes) kushakewitschi pseudokarelini Mandl, 1954: 164 (type locality: Alexandergebirge) holotype ♂ in Naturhistorischen Museum Wien (Obydov, 2002: 49)

Length 18-28 mm. The differences between C. kushakewitschi plasoni and C. kushakewitschi kushakewitschi consist essentially in the color and in the shape of the body. The upper side of the body of C. kushakewitschi plasoni is blackish or dark with bronze or green reflections, rarely entirely of bronze color, anyway always devoid of blu shades. Moreover, C. kushakewitschi plasoni should be further characterized by the head proportionally larger and by the slightly elongated elytra which are less convex than in the typical form.
However, these characteristics are highly variable from individual to individual and are only useful when examining a certain number of specimens from the same local population.
The situation is further complicated, by the fact that A. Morawitz (1886: 87) described as var.decolor specimens of dark color slightly smaller and slender than the typical population of C. kushakewitschi kushakewitschi, presumably cohabiting with the latter because they come from the same localities.
Breuning (1928: 68) noted that the two varieties decolor and plasoni were difficult to separate from the typical form because they could occur together and because transitional forms existed. Jeannel instead considered them as two subspecies, distinct from each other only by color. Obidov (2002: 48) regarded plasoni as a geographically well-defined eastern subspecies, while he considered decolor synonymous with the typical form, different from the latter only because of its uniform dark color and, in case of alpine populations, because of the smaller size (Obidov, 2002: 44).
We recognize the validity of the eastern subspecie as Obidov redescribed it but, on the basis of the abundant material examined, we also recognize that the boundary separating it from the typical subspecie is uncertain because small populations or single individuals with intermediate characteristics (erroneously attributed to decolor) exist in the border area. Moreover, the literature data would also suggest that other aberrant individuals, dark in color and sometime smaller in size (decolor sensu Obidov) can be found throughout the entire distribution area of the typical population.
Finally, Kabak (Kryzhanovskij & al. 1995: 34, note 147) studying a paratype of C. pseudokarelini has established its synonymy with C. kuschakewitschi plasoni, later confirmed by Obydov (2002: 49) by examining the holotype.
C. kushakewitschi plasoni is found in the Kirghiz Mountains on the border between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, but, according to our data, it is also present in isolated stations among the typical populations, in Uzbekistan on the eastern slopes of the Chatkal range.

Examined specimens and literature’s data
Kazakhstan. Jambyl prov. Kyrgyz Ala Too. Turar Ryskulov distr (SB); Lugovaya (Obydov, 2002: 48); Taraz (=Džambul) (Obydov, 2002: 48).
Kazakhstan.Kyrgyz Ala Too. (=Alexander range). Chuy prov: Frunze (= Bishkek); S. Bischek; Chon-Aryk, 900m (SB); Ala Arča (40km S. Bishkek)1500-1700m. (EM, SB), Gornaya Serafimovka (30Km SE Bishkek) (SB).
Uzbekistan. Chatkal range. Janghiabad, 2300m. (sub decolor SB).

Notes: Brachypterous. It lives in the steppes and woodlands from 700 to 2000m. Adults are active in April-May up to the beginning of June.
The the name of this taxon intends to commemorate Victor Plason (1843-1904) an Austrian entomologist.

Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi plasoni
(Born, 1917)
Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek circ., Chon-Aryk, 900m,
20.04.2000, Irtlak lg.
Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi plasoni
(Born, 1917)
Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek circ., Chon-Aryk, 900m,
20.04.2000, Irtlak lg.
Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi plasoni
(Born, 1917)
Kyrgyzstan, Ala Arča (40km S Bishkek), steppe
1500-1700m, 25.V.1970, K Hurka leg., (coll. EM)
Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi plasoni
(Born, 1917)
Kyrgyzstan, Ala Arča (40km S Bishkek), steppe
1500-1700m, 25.V.1970, K Hurka leg., (coll. EM)


Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi glasunowi Semenov, 1900

Calosoma glasunowi Semenov, 1900: 303. Original material: 2♂, 1♀ (from Mts Nurata, Sintab) in coll. Semenov and coll. Glasunow; lectotype ♂ in Zoological Museum of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg (Obydov, 2002: 52)
Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi ssp. glasunovi Breuning, 1928: 66
Callisthenes panderi glasunowi Lapouge, 1932: 375
Callisthenes Kuschakewitschi Glasunowi Jeannel, 1940: 193
Callisthenes glasunowi Obydov, 2002: 51

Length 26-28mm. C. kuschakewitschi glasunowi, compared to C. kuschakewitschi kuschakewitschi, has a more slender body shape and a siumilar lively blue luster all over the upper side of the body. Some other minor differences put forward in the literature are not always easy to assess. The distinguishing feature most emphasized by the various authors in their diagnoses is the fact that only the first two articles of the anterior tarsi of the males are barely dilated and that they have onlys very reduced areas of hairy pads.
It should be noted that all populations of C. kuschakewitschi have the anterior tarsi of the males not very dilated and reduced hairy pads, yet this characteristic is particularly evident in glasunowi. Therefore, taking also into account the relative geographic isolation of the population, this characteristic may identify a subspecies but certainly not a distinct species as proposed by its descriptor (Semenov, 1900: 303) and later still by Obidov (2002: 51).
C. kuschakewitschi glasunowi is only found in the mountains of Nuratau in the Dzhizac region of Uzbekistan

Examined specimens and literature’s data
Uzbekistan. Nuratau Mts: Farish vill. 1200m (SB), Sintab vill. (Obydov, 2002: 52)

Notes: Brachypterous. It is located on the mountain slopes at medium altitude (1200m). The adults were collected in April and May.
The taxon has been named after the Russian entomologist Demetrius Constant Glasunow.

Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi glasunowi
Semenov, 1900
Uzbekistan: Dzhizac region, Nuratau Mts.,
Farish vill., 1200m, 15.05.04, O. Legezin leg.

Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi batesoni Semenov-Tian-Shansky & Redikorzev, 1928

Calosoma kuschakewitschi batesoni Semenov-Tian-Shansky & Redikorzev, 1928: 111 (type locality: inter Kazalinsk et Karkaralinsk), paratypes 3♀ in Zoological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg (Obydov, 2002: 48)
Callisthenes kuschakewitschi batesoni Jeannel, 1940: 192
Callisthenes kuschakewitschi solskyanus Obydov, 1999: 581 (type locality: Ulanbel); holotype ♂ in Zoological Museum of Moscow University

Length 20-26 mm. C. kuschakewitschi batesoni is on average smaller and more slender than C. kuschakewitschi kuschakewitschi. The pronotum is less wrinkled and slightly narrower on the back. The elytra are oval and less convex. The segments of the male anterior tarsi are very little dilated, while the hairy pads are only present on the first two segments. The color of the upper body is black with faint bluish reflections.
C. kuschakewitschi batesoni lives in the steppic areas to the East of the Aral Sea, between Irgiz and Kazalinsk. Towards South it occupies the valley of the Sary-Su River.
A population, having slightly more rounded and less convex elytra is found farther south, at Ulanbel. This population, that has been described as Callisthenes kuschakewitschi solskyanus, according to its descriptor (Obydov 1999: 581), has some intermediate characteristics between C. kuschakewitschi batesoni and C. kuschakewitschi kuschakewitschi, but, in our opinion, it fully falls within the range of the former. subspecies.

Examined specimens and literature’s data
Kazakhstan. Kyzylorda prov.: Kumsagyz (SB), Kazaly (=Kazalinsk) (Obydov, 2002: 48), Sary-Su river valley (230km NE of Kyzyl-Orda) (AVT, EM, SB); Aktobe prov.: Yrgyz (=Irgiz) (Obydov, 2002: 48), Bol’shie Barsuki, Malye Barsuki (Obydov, 2002: 48); Jambyl prov. Ulanbel 150m (Obydov, 1999: 581; sub C. kushakewitchi solskyanus) (SB); Ču riv. valley (sub C. kushakewitchi solskyanus) (SB).

Notes: Brachypterous. It lives at low altitude 50-150m and appears to be mainly a desert inhabitant. According to the material examined, adults are active in April-May.
The species has been dedicated to the famous English biologist William Bateson (1861-1926).

Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi batesoni
Semenov-Tian-Shansky & Redikorzev, 1928
Kazakhstan, Kyzyl-Orda reg., Sary-Su riv. valley,
7.IV.1997, M Danilevsky leg. (coll. Migliaccio)
Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi batesoni
Semenov-Tian-Shansky & Redikorzev, 1928
(sub kuschakewitschi solskyanus Obydov, 1999)
Ulanbel 150m 24.IV.2000, Danilewsky


Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi akkolicum (Obydov & Gottwald, 2002)

Callisthenes akkolicus Obydov & Gottwald, 2002: 39 (type locality: Karatau, Akkol env.) holotype ♂ in coll. Jan Matějíček (Matějíček i.l.)
Callisthenes akkolicus korelli Obydov, 2004: 113 (type locality: Kirghizia, Kyzyl-Sai)
Calosoma (Callisthenes) panderi akkolicum Bruschi, 2014: 254

Length 20-23 mm. Callisthenes akkolicus including the subspecies Callisthenes akkolicus korelli have been described from two nearby places still in the Sary-Su river bacin, further south by the southernmost population of C. kuschakewitschi batesoni and near the distribution area of C. kuschakewitschi kuschakewitschi.
According to the descriptors (Obydov & Gottwald, 2002: 39) akkolicum displays a series of intermediate characteristics between the panderi and kuschakewitschi species groups supposedly due to phenomena of introgression, and we (Bruschi, 2014: 254) had erroneously attributed it to the panderi group.
Actually both the populations of C. akkolicum are similar in many characteristics to C. kuschakewitschi kuschakewitschi even if, as happens in the more southern population of this latter subspecies (solskyanus), the slightly more rounded and convex shape would seem to represent a transition toward the neighboring populations of C. kuschakewitschi plasoni. These transitional characteristics, the small body size and the geographical location on the margins of two different ecological systems (desert and hill buttresses), suggest to consider, at least for the moment. akkolicum at the subspecific level within C. kuschakewitschi

Examined specimens and literature’s data
Kazakhstan Talas district, Akkol village (holotype JM; paratype SB; EM); Sairam district, Kyzylsai village (sub akkolicus korelli Obydov, 2004: 113)

Notes: Brachypterous. It lives in grasslands at medium altitude, around 350-400 m. Adults were collected in May.

Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi akkolicum
(Obydov & Gottwald, 2002)
Kazakhstan, Karatau, Akkol env., 9-10.V.1978, Gottwald leg. (holotype coll. Jan Matějíček)
Calosoma (Callisthenes) kuschakewitschi akkolicum
(Obydov & Gottwald, 2002)
Kazakhstan, Akkol, Džambul, 9-10.V.1978, Gottwald leg.
(coll. E. Migliaccio)

updated November 25 2021

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