Fifteen new microsatellite markers for the beetle Lethrus apterus were developed and tested in 45 specimens from the North Hungarian Mountains. Fourteen of the markers developed were polymorphic, and the number of alleles per locus ranged from two to nine. The observed and expected heterozygosities of the polymorphic markers ranged from 0.178 to 0.578, and 0.201 to 0.698, respectively. One locus showed significant deviation from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, probably due to null alleles. The primers were tested on four other Lethrus species (L. bituberculatus, L. scoparius, L. strymonensis and L. perun) and six other coleopteran species (Copris hispanus, Geotrupes stercorarius, Melolontha melolontha, Onthophagus taurus, Oryctes nasicornis and Protaetia affinis). Thirteen loci showed cross-amplification in the Lethrus species and only three loci could be amplified in some of the six other coleopteran species. The developed markers will be valuable in investigating the population genetic structure, behaviour and reproductive biology of L. apterus.
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