GB: Syrian Bee HawkmothHaemorrhagia fuciformis syra Daniel, 1939, Mitt. münch. ent. Ges. 29: 94.
Type locality: Marasch, Turkish north Syria [Kahraman Maras, Turkey].
(Taxonomic notes. (i) The descriptions and illustrations provided by Daniel (1932; 1939) of the Turkish H. fuciformis subsp. syra Daniel, 1939, initially indicated that it could be a form of Hemaris dentata (Staudinger, 1887). However, Daniel (1932) was of the opinion that it was closer to H. fuciformis, although the colour of the thorax and abdomen reminded him more of H. croatica. Danner, Eitschberger & Surholt (1998) treated syra as a good species, although they were uncertain of its exact status. Kitching & Cadiou (2000) compared H. syra, H. fuciformis and H. dentata from Turkey and concluded that syra probably represented the opposite sex of the sexually dimorphic H. dentata. With the capture of further specimens of both syra and H. dentata it is obvious that syra is not H. dentata, but in morphology much closer to H. fuciformis. Furthermore, the results of recent DNA barcoding studies indicate that although this taxon is close to H. fuciformis, it is sufficiently distinct to warrent specific status.
(ii) The description and illustration of Hemaris fuciformis pseudodentata given by Dubatolov (2003) matches the holotype of Hemaris syra. Although he compared his new taxon with H. dentata and H. f. fuciformis, he did not include H. syra in the comparison. The former is synonymized with the latter.)
Holarctic; western Palaearctic region. Pleistocene refuge: Monocentric -- Caspian refugium, with probably a small population extending to the northern Iranian refuge.
Wingspan: 35--48mm. Distinguished from H. tityus by a much broader marginal band to the wings; forewing discal cell divided longitudinally by a scaled fold in most examples, but this is obscured in syra by the discal cell being totally covered by scales. This feature, plus a reduced hyaline area on the hindwings, distinguish this species from H. fuciformis fuciformis; however, individuals of H. fuciformis fuciformis matching syra can occasionally be found in Greece and Italy, particularly in the second brood.
Diurnal. Frequents the open remnants of former woodland, especially where Lonicera grows through and over low shrubs. Occurs at around 1000m altitude in southern Turkey and 1500-1600m in northern Israel. Adults are partial to the flowers of thistles.
Bivoltine throughout its range. Mainly from mid May until mid June, with a partial to full brood in August. Two specimens were observed in Jordan (Mafraq, 700m) in mid July (Müller et al., 2005a).
Hostplants. Unkown, but probably species of Lonicera.
Southern and eastern Turkey, the western Zagros Mountains and northern Alborz Mountains of Iran, and the Kopet Dag Mountains of Turkmenistan (Danov & Pereladov, 1985; Derzhavets, 1984; Dubatolov, ).
Also recorded from western Jordan (Müller et al., 2005a) and northern Israel (as H. syriaca) (Müller et al., 2005b).
[It is possible that all populations of H. fuciformis fuciformis reported from northern Turkey are, in fact, Hemaris syra, and that H. fuciformis fuciformis does not occur in Turkey; however, individuals of H. fuciformis fuciformis have been confirmed from northern Iran.]
Extra-limital range. None.