Calosoma (Carabophanus) gestroi Breuning, 1928

Carabophanus Antinorii Gestro, 1899: 613
Calosoma (Carabophanus) antinorii ssp.? gestroi Breuning, 1928:126 (type locality: "dai Badditù a Dimé"); holotype ♀ in Museo civico di Storia naturale di Genova
Orinodromus (Carabophanus) gestroi Jeannel, 1940: 144

Length 12-16 mm. Pronotum transverse with sides evenly rounded, lobes small. Differently from other species of subgenus, the male's mesotibie are very little arched, almost straight. The femurs are constantly red and two raised lines lie parallel to the suture of elytra along its entire length. The upper body is dark blue. gestroi is easily distinguished from raffrayi, that has the same colour, because of the shape of pronotum and because of the conspicuous presence of the two raised lines parallel to the suture of elytra. It differs also significantly from melanic specimens of arrowi because of the more transverse pronotum, evenly rounded, and because on the striae of its elytra lacks the set of opaque black spots.
C. gestroi has been found in the ancient provinces of Shewa, Bale, Sidamo, Arussi and Gamo Gofa, along the south-western ridge of the Rift Valley.

Examined specimens and literature’s data
Ethiopia. Arsi: Asella, 8 km E Dighellu (Rougemont, 1976: 261), 16 km E Dighellu (Rougemont, 1976: 261), Mendebo Mts. (= Bocoggi 2900 m, = vetta del Mt. Encuolò 4000 m (AVT), Mt. Chillalo (AVT); Bale: Guriè 3150 m (AVT, SB), Dinshu 3200 m.(AVT, GP, SB), Goba (SB), Wahoro refuge env (; Gamo Gofa: Mt. Gughè (= dai Badditù a Dimé) (holotype, MGe), summit of Mt.Gughé (= Tola) 4000 m (AC); Shewa: Menaghesha National Forest (SB); Sidamo: 11 km SE Aghere Selam (6°27’N; 38°41’E) (Rougemont, 1976: 260).

Notes: Brachhypterous, the wings are reduced to a stump. Calosoma (Carabophanus) gestroi lives in tilled field and pastures between 2900 and 4000 m. From the data of the catches it would appear to remain active throughout the year, perhaps except for the central period of the heavy rains in July August. It appears in large numbers and it mates in the end of the rainy season in September October. During this period the habitat where it lives turns into swamps and C. gestroi seems to prefer a semi-aquatic lifestyle, near small streams, under rocks partially submerged. This preference for humid habitat is confirmed by the behavior of individuals that when disturbed, if they happen to be near the water, dive quickly, proceeding clinging to pebbles or to submerged plants (Vigna Taglianti and Bruschi, 1986: 15).
A similar behavior was reported for another species of a subgenus that also reminds the appearance and the manner of life of Carabus: Calosoma (Chrysostigma) calidum, that, if threatened, takes refuge in the water, where it can remain submerged for a couple of minutes (Landry, 1976).
In the dry season from November to late December, C. gestroi adapts easily to the changed environment and has been observed in different activities during the hottest hours of the day. It remains active throughout the following period until the beginning of the rainy season up to June.
Finally, it could be interesting to note that a similar adaptation to seasonal changes in the environment was observed in some species of Cicindelinae (Tetrachna sobrina and brasiliensis) in Amazonia and in the Brazilian Pantanal. These species are completely terrestrial in the dry season but become semiaquatic during the annual flooding season (Pearson D. L., Vogler A. P., Tiger Beetles: The Evolution, Ecology, and Diversity of the Cicindelids, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 2001, p. 134-135).
The description of second instar larva is found in Vigna Taglianti & Bruschi (1986: 14), and the one of the third instar in Makarov (1999).
The species is named after Raffaello Gestro (1845 - 1936) Italian entomologist, director of the Museo civico di storia naturale di Genova, since the founding of the Museum in 1867 up to 1934.

Calosoma (Carabophanus) gestroi
Breuning, 1928
Ethiopia: Bale, Dinshu. m 3200, 27/29.IX.1985, S. Bruschi leg.
Calosoma (Carabophanus) gestroi
Breuning, 1928
Ethiopia: Bale, Dinshu. m 3200, 27/29.IX.1985, S. Bruschi leg.
Calosoma (Carabophanus) gestroi Breuning, 1928
submerged in water, clinging to pebbles
(photo Luciano Pontuale, 1985)
Calosoma (Carabophanus) gestroi captured by Bottego and publicated by Gestro as Calosoma antinorii
Vannutelli L., Citerni C., Seconda Spedizione Bottego - L’Omo. Viaggio di scoperta nell’Africa Orientale, Hoepli, Milano, 1899
updated July 11 2019