Natural History Sciences <p>The scientific journal <strong>Natural History Sciences</strong> (formerly <em>Atti della Società italiana di Scienze naturali e del Museo civico di Storia naturale in Milano - ISSN 0037-8844</em>) was founded in 1859 to publish original research in natural sciences.<br> Publication of any paper depends on acceptance by the Editorial Board; the Editorial Board will not accept papers that do not meet the journal guidelines.<br> A section for <em>Short Notes</em> and <em>Book Reviews</em> is provided as well.<br><br> <strong>Natural History Sciences</strong> is available as library exchange: <a href=""></a></p> PAGEPress Scientific Publications, Pavia, Italy en-US Natural History Sciences 2385-0442 <p><strong>PAGEPress</strong> has chosen to apply the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong>Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 International License</strong></a>&nbsp;(CC BY-NC 4.0) to all manuscripts to be published.<br><br> An Open Access Publication is one that meets the following two conditions:</p> <ol> <li>the author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship, as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.</li> <li>a complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in a suitable standard electronic format is deposited immediately upon initial publication in at least one online repository that is supported by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term archiving.</li> </ol> <p>Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:</p> <ol> <li>Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.</li> <li>Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.</li> <li>Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.</li> </ol> A survey of the Elymus L. s. l. species complex (Triticeae, Poaceae) in Italy: taxa and nothotaxa, new combinations and identification key <p><em>Elymus</em> s. l. is a critical topic on which only a little light has begun to be made regarding phylogenetic reticulation, genome evolution and consistency of genera. In Italy, <em>Elymus</em> s. l. officially includes ten species (nine native, one alien) and some well-established and widespread hybrids generally not treated as little or nothing is known of them. In this paper fourteen species (with two subspecies) and six hybrids are taken into account and the following seven new combinations are proposed: <em>Thinopyrum acutum</em> (DC.) Banfi, <em>Thinopyrum corsicum</em> (Hack.) Banfi, <em>Thinopyrum intermedium </em>(Host) Barkworth &amp; Dewey subsp. <em>pouzolzii</em> (Godr.) Banfi, <em>Thinopyrum obtusiflorum</em> (DC.) Banfi, <em>Thinopyrum ×duvalii</em> (Loret) Banfi, <em>×Thinoelymus drucei</em> (Stace) Banfi, <em>×Thinoelymus mucronatus</em> (Opiz) Banfi. Some observations are provided for each subject and a key to species, subspecies and hybrids is made available.</p> Enrico Banfi ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-10-03 2018-10-03 5 2 10.4081/nhs.2018.392 A multitaxa and expert based approach for the identification of Priority Areas for biodiversity conservation in the Verbano Cusio Ossola Province, Italy <p>In this article we present the results of a multitaxa and expert based methodology aimed at the identification of Priority Areas for Biodiversity Conservation in the Province of Verbano Cusio Ossola (VCO), located in North Eastern Piedmont, Italy. The multitaxa approach was based on the selection of focal species and habitats that were considered indicators of high levels of biodiversity, belonging to one of the following themes: a) Flora and Vegetation, b) Invertebrates, c) Aquatic Ecosystems and Fish, d) Amphibians and Reptiles, e) Birds, f) Mammals. We gathered a group of 25 expert naturalists, biologists and researchers, possessing wide knowledge built during field studies and researches carried out in VCO, to whom we asked to select Important and Peculiar Areas for the conservation of biodiversity related to their themes and to draw them on the map. [...]</p> Lucia Pompilio Radames Bionda Andrea Mosini Giuseppe Bogliani Fabio Casale Claudio Celada Elena Rossini Massimo Soldarini ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-10-03 2018-10-03 5 2 10.4081/nhs.2018.391 Addenda to the lichen flora of the Ticino river valley (western Po Plain, Italy) <p>The Ticino river valley is a focal area for biodiversity in the western Po Plain (Northern Italy). Lichens have been collected by the author from 91 sites in the period 2011-2017. These collections and the few literature data published in the last decade have been summarized. Twenty-eight species (15 terricolous, 5 epiphytic, 3 lignicolous, 3 saxicolous, 1 epiphytic and lignicolous, 1 terricolous and epiphytic), mostly belonging to genus <em>Cladonia</em>, are reported here as addenda to the floristic list published 15 years ago by the Lombardy Ticino Park, which included 123 species. Many of the newly recorded species are interesting under a conservation or biogeographical standpoint.</p> Gabriele Gheza ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-10-03 2018-10-03 5 2 10.4081/nhs.2018.381 Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of San Marino <p>A recent catalog of the ants of Europe and surrounding areas listed no ants recorded from San Marino. One afternoon of collecting in urban sites of San Marino yielded 23 ant species: <em>Aphaenogaster subterranea, Camponotus aethiops, Camponotus fallax, Camponotus lateralis, Camponotus piceus, Crematogaster scutellaris, Formica cunicularia, Formica gagates, Hypoponera eduardi, Lasius emarginatus, Lasius lasioides, Lasius paralienus, Messor structor, Pheidole pallidula, Plagiolepis pygmaea, Tapinoma nigerrimum s.l., Temnothorax angustulus, Temnothorax flavicornis, Temnothorax italicus, Temnothorax lichtensteini, Temnothorax tergestinus, Temnothorax unifasciatus</em>, and <em>Tetramorium caespitum.</em> Surprisingly, despite collecting in heavily disturbed urban sites, none of the ants known so far from San Marino are exotic to Europe.</p> Fabrizio Rigato James K. Wetterer ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-08-08 2018-08-08 5 2 10.4081/nhs.2018.367 Colin P. Groves (1942-2017) and his legacy <p>not available</p> Spartaco Gippoliti ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-08-06 2018-08-06 5 2 10.4081/nhs.2018.385 Terrace springs: habitat haven for macrobenthic fauna in the lower plain of the River Ticino (Lombardy, Northern Italy) <p>Springs are important environments between hypogean and epigean habitats; the interaction between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems is an important factor for their biotic communities. We investigated the ecology of the macrobenthic community of two lowland springs in the River Ticino valley, focusing on the autoecology of some relevant species and on the role of springs as hotspots of biodiversity in an area threatened by anthropogenic pressure. We collected 26 <em>taxa</em> in total: diptera (8), trichoptera (6), gastropods (5), coleoptera (2), crustacea (2), lumbricidae (1), odonata (1), plathelminthes (1). Some of them are stenothermal and oligotrophic species thus quite unusual for a flood plain area characterized by intensive agricultural activities. In conclusion, our study highlights the importance of lowland springs in conserving some habitat-selective macrobenthic species.</p> Renato Sconfietti India Pesci Daniele Paganelli ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-08-06 2018-08-06 5 2 10.4081/nhs.2018.376 Critical review of fossil record of Ranina Lamarck, 1801 (Decapoda, Brachyura, Raninidae), with description of Tethyranina n. gen. <p>Pasini &amp; Garassino (2017a) revised the fossil record referred to <em>Ranina</em> Lamarck, 1801 by Karasawa <em>et al.</em> (2014). As result only four species were considered as possible valid species within <em>Ranina: R. palmea</em> E. Sismonda, 1846, <em>R. pellattieroi</em> De Angeli &amp; Beschin, 2011, <em>R. propinqua</em> Ristori, 1891, and <em>R. ranina</em> (Linnaeus, 1758). These species are herein revised and discussed, based on updated observations and critical review of the fossil materials and on a re-definition of the main diagnostic proxy characters <em>sensu</em> Schweitzer (2003) of the type species <em>R. ranina</em> (Linnaeus, 1758). This review allows us to establish that <em>R. ranina</em> from the middle Pleistocene of Ryukyu Islands (Japan) and <em>R. palmea</em> from the middle Miocene of Italy have consistent proxy characters with the extant Ranina to be considered as valid species within the genus. Moreover, <em>Tethyranina</em> n. gen., with <em>T. propinqua</em> (Ristori, 1891) n. comb., is herein proposed to accommodate this questionable fossil species previously assigned to <em>Ranina</em>. Finally <em>R. pellattieroi</em> De Angeli &amp; Beschin, 2011, lacking the typical characters of <em>Ranina</em>, is considered as a doubtful species within Ranininae.</p> Giovanni Pasini Alessandro Garassino ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-08-06 2018-08-06 5 2 10.4081/nhs.2018.359 Basic problems of biogeography <p>Darwin interpreted most of biogeographic distributions as a consequence of dispersal events. The dispersionist approach lasted till the half of the XX century, but then an alternative paradigm arose: vicariantist biogeography. Madagascan carnivores and lemurs, <em>e.g.</em>, were considered as heirs of old Gondwanian ancestors. But new phylogeographic research, based on molecular biology, discovered that they evolved, in different times, after the parting of Madagascar from continental Africa, supporting the dispersionist approach. Nowadays, the two paradigms are welcome in all the different cases, thus avoiding the old disputes typical of the last century.</p> Aldo Zullini ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-08-06 2018-08-06 5 2 10.4081/nhs.2018.364 Decapod crustaceans from the late Pliocene (Piacenzian) nearby Faenza (Emilia-Romagna, N Italy) <p>Several specimens of anomuran and brachyuran decapods are reported from the late Pliocene clays (Argille Azzurre Fm.) at localities nearby Faenza (Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna), located in the foothills of Romagna Apennines (NE Italy). The specimens were assigned to species already reported from the Pliocene of Italy, but never previously recorded in this area. This new report enlarges our knowledge on the composition and distribution of the brachyuran decapods along the Pliocene coastline of the Adriatic Gulf of the paleo- Mediterranean Sea.</p> Giovanni Pasini Alessandro Garassino Marco Sami ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-08-06 2018-08-06 5 2 10.4081/nhs.2018.384 Report of brachyuran crabs (Crustacea, Decapoda) from the Pliocene of Borgomanero, Novara (Piedmont, NW Italy) <p>Some brachyuran crabs from the Pliocene of a new outcrop nearby Borgomanero (Novara, Piedmont, NW Italy) are reported. This study allows us to recognize a peculiar brachyuran crabs assemblage including: <em>Macropipus</em> cf. <em>M. tuberculatus</em> Prestandrea, 1833 (Polybiidae Ortmann, 1893), first report for this species from the Pliocene fossil record, and an indeterminate representative of <em>Mursia</em> Leach <em>in</em> Desmarest, 1822 (Calappidae De Haan, 1833), genus never recorded previously in the Mediterranean basin. Finally, a single chela is referred to <em>Calappa</em> sp. (Calappidae De Haan, 1833).</p> Giovanni Pasini Alessandro Garassino Piero Damarco ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-08-06 2018-08-06 5 2 10.4081/nhs.2018.380