The species Paraphaenops breuilianus (Jeannel, 1916) is an Iberian iconic cave beetle with “aphaenopsian” facies, monospecific until now. An extensive field work over the last years allowed the revision of this peculiar genus using the combinations of morphological, molecular and ecological approaches and led to the description of new taxa Paraphaenops fadriquei Ortuño and Faille sp. nov., Paraphaenops breuilianus espanoli Ortuño and Faille ssp. nov. and the full larval diagnosis of the third larval instar of the type species. The sequencing of two mitochondrial (cox1, rrnl + tRNA-Leu + nad1) and one nuclear (LSU) gene fragments evidenced a strong divergence for all markers considered between P. breuilianus and the new species P. fadriquei sp. nov. The strong genetic differences between the two taxa contrast singularly with the extreme morphological homogeneity of the genus. The ecological data recorded for Paraphaenops Jeannel, 1916 species show that they are stenotherms and stenohygrobionts, perfectly adapted to the subterranean environment, living at temperatures between 4.4 to 10° C with high relative humidity. The new localities and taxa enlarge the former distribution area from 72 to 5091 square kilometres sprinkled between twelve caves: six in the Mola de Catí (P. breuilianus breuilianus); three in the aforementioned karst region towards the south, crossing the geographical barrier “Barranc de Regatxol” (P. breuilianus espanoli ssp. nov.); and three, 60 km towards the west, in a different karst region: the “Sierra de la Dehesas” (P. fadriquei sp. nov.) This geographical range overlaps a geostructural area quoted as “junction area” between the Iberian System and the Catalan coastal Mountain range, an area up to 1000 metres above sea level.
Reference: Ortuño V.M., Sendra A., Reboleira A.S.P.S., Fadrique F. & Faille A. (2017). The Iberian genus Paraphaenops Jeannel, 1916 (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Trechini): morphology, phylogeny and geographical distribution. Zoologischer Anzeiger, 266: 71–88. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcz.2016.10.009