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Much has been stated in journals and at roundtable discussions, conferences, and on the Internet about the taxonomic impediment, the Phylocode, and DNA barcoding. But community responses about these topics are lacking apart from position papers. We developed a simple easy-to-answer survey regarding these issues and submitted it to contributors to the Catalogue of Palaearctic Coleoptera. We also asked for demographic information (age, sex), and data about their productivity. The survey was sent to 154 expert coleopterists, mainly in Europe, and we obtained 103 responses. Over 60% of the respondents have PhD's, over 60% are professionals, and over 70% are currently active. Although most of the respondents are traditional taxonomists, 28% participate in molecular research and 78% regard DNA work as potentially useful. Nevertheless, 35% of the respondents regard DNA barcoding as useless (23% consider it useful and 39% have no opinion) and 50% regard the Phylocode also useless (40% have no opinion and 8% find it useful). Based on survey results, a large portion of practicing beetle taxonomists are not influenced by bar-coding and phylocode initiatives, either by ignorance or by having strong opposition. The adoption of new character systems, like molecules, is favored and demonstrates a real interest and concern by taxonomists to find answers to meaningful biological problems.
A key to the species of the Curculio dentipes (Roelofs) group of the Curculio from China with descriptions of the following new species: Curculio canosquamanew species, Curculio dhilloninew species, Curculio octomaculatanew species, Curculio unimaculatanew species. Short diagnoses of previously described taxa are included: Curculio bidens (Heller), Curculio davidi (Fairmaire), Curculio dentipes (Roelofs), Curculio imperalis (Heller) and Curculio kiangsuicus (Heller).
A new genus and species of the myrmecophilous supertribe Clavigeritae, Thysdariella fieldiana, from Madagascar is described. The genus belongs to the subtribe Thysdariina of the tribe Clavigerini. The key for all genera of Thysdariina is provided. The present status of higher systematics of Clavigeritae is briefly discussed.
We present records of 45 beetle species previously unrecorded from the state of Rhode Island, U.S.A., six of which appear to be new to New England. One family, the Cupedidae, is herein first reported from the state of Rhode Island. Newly reported from the state are the species Agonum mutatum (Gemminger & Harold) (Carabidae) and Tricrania sanguinipennis (Say) (Meloidae) which are listed on the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection list of protected species and the 1999 Massachusetts Invertebrate Watch List, respectively. In addition, two carabid species are confirmed extant in RI that are also present on the Massachusetts Watch list, Blethisa quadricollis Haldeman and Agonum darlingtoni Lindroth, known previously in RI from historic records only. These additions bring the total beetle species count for the state of Rhode Island (2,707 km2) to 2,255 species. This total includes all known records of Rhode Island Coleoptera, including historic records of an unknown number of species that may have since been extirpated. This total, therefore, does not necessarily represent a count of beetle species currently present in the state. Prior work by the first author had accumulated recent (post-1995) records for 841 species, of which 356 were new state records. We add to these totals from the second author's collection, 95 additional species collected in modern times that had not been documented from the state in over 60 years, bringing the total number of beetle species documented from Rhode Island in modern times to 981 species—leaving 1,273 historically documented species and 16 families that have not been documented in Rhode Island during the last 50 years.
Fifty years ago, The Coleopterists Bulletin featured a series of articles on beetles and their interactions with the plant genus Toxicodendron P. Mill. section Toxicodendron (the poison ivies and poison oaks). Subsequent to the series, little progress has been made towards a better understanding of these relationships. The present work uses both original observations from field studies as well as a historical review of previous data to synthesize a more robust picture of coleopteran-Toxicodendron relationships. In addition to enumerating previously unrecognized associations, this paper demonstrates that numerous coleopteran taxa interact with Toxicodendron spp. in both mutualistic and parasitic capacities.
A study of the holotype of Nothogaster paradoxaLacordaire 1866 revealed that it consists of parts of two different insects glued together. The anterior part (head and thorax) belongs to Orphanobrentus curvirostrisChevrolat 1839 (Coleoptera, Brentidae) whilst the posterior part (abdomen without legs and genitalia) belongs to Figulus anthracinus Klug 1833 (Coleoptera, Lucanidae). According to the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, the anterior part is considered herein as the holotype and the posterior part is excluded as extraneous. Consequently, NothogasterLacordaire 1866 becomes the senior objective synonym of OrphanobrentusDamoiseau 1962new synonymy and Orphanobrentus curvirostrisChevrolat 1839 the senior subjective synonym of Nothogaster paradoxaLacordaire 1866new synonymy.
Larvae and adults of Gratiana spadicea (Klug 1829) feed only on Solanum sisymbriifolium Lamarck (Solanaceae) leaves. Leaves of this host plant bear simple, glandular and non-glandular, and stellate trichomes. In this paper, we show that larvae avoid eating the stellate trichomes, which are removed, before mesophile ingestion. First and second instar larvae macerated the trichome rays to reach the mesophile, while older instars and the adults removed the entire trichomes. In double choice tests, leaf discs with none (shaved leaf discs), high (HD) and low density (LD) of stellate trichomes were offered to larvae and adults of G. spadicea. Both preferred shaved and LD discs over the HD type. For the HD discs, the mean distance among the trichomes in a given leaf was smaller than that of first instar larvae head capsule width, indicating that feeding sites cannot be accessed unless they remove the trichome rays. Larvae that fed on intact leaf discs suffered higher mortalities than those that fed on shaved discs. Thus, the data suggest that S. sisymbriifolium stellate trichomes impose life history costs, functioning as a barrier for G. spadicea feeding, mainly to first instar larvae. On the other hand, trichome removal and selection of feeding sites with lower trichome density allow these larvae to overcome such barriers.
Distortion coordinates (Cartesian Transformations) are used to compare the cranial morphology of first, second, and third instars of Agabus disintegratus (Crotch) and third instars of A. disintegratus and Matus bicarinatus (Say). These analyses revealed significant ontogenetic changes in the cranial architecture of A. disintegratus and differences between crania of third instars of A. disintegratus and M. bicarinatus. Differences between A. disintegratus and M. bicarinatus are interpreted as evidence that larvae of the two species exploit prey regimes with different characteristics. It is hypothesized that the ability of prey to resist capture may be an important characteristic responsible for the ontogenetic changes in cranial morphology observed in A. disintegratus. Anisometric increases in the adductor musculature responsible for closing the mandibles would explain the posterior expansion of the cranium of A. disintegratus during ontogeny. These changes are interpreted as evidence that A. disintegratus larvae may exploit prey regimes with different characteristics during each stadium.
The firefly Microphotus octarthrus occurs allopatricallly throughout pinyon-oak and juniper- oak habitats of the deserts of southwestern US. Adult dispersal is limited thus individuals are likely to be genetically isolated by geographic distances. However, during the Pleistocene, habitats may have been contiguous allowing for greater dispersal and genetic continuity. In this study we investigated the patterns of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I haplotypes among disjunct populations of M. octarthrus to determine whether current populations were historically contiguous. A total of 26 mtDNA COI haplotypes was found for 28 individuals from six populations spanning the beetle's range. Cladistic analysis of individuals resulted in 15,500 equally parsimonious trees. Strict consensus of these trees was mostly resolved except for a few individuals within well supported clades. Individuals from the same population were monophyletic and genetic isolation by distance was observed. Mean branch lengths for the clades of individuals from Texas, western New Mexico, and northern New Mexico were 4.4%, 1.6%, and 5.0%, respectively. Given an average sequence divergence of 2.3% per million years, isolation of these groups coincided with the beginning and middle of the Pleistocene. Thus, populations of M. octarthrus and their habitat were likely disjunct throughout the Pleistocene and the dispersal of these beetles was limited. In addition, branch length values were similar to values observed among the other Microphotus species. This suggests the possibility of cryptic species, however limited life history data renders recognition of new species difficult. Pre-mating barriers such as female advertising posture, male approach, and coupling time would further support the isolation of these populations and recognition of new species.
A new subgenus, Amblyodontomagdalis Lu and Legalov, and two new species, Magdalis (Amblyodontomagdalis) flatus Lu and Zhang and Magdalis (Laemosaccidius) dorsalis Lu and Zhang are described from northern China. A key to subgenera of Magdalis Germar of the world is provided. All type specimens are deposited in the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China
Cicindela cursitans LeConte is a small, flightless tiger beetle with a widely scattered distribution in the Great Plains, the Ohio Valley, and the north-central Gulf Coast region. Many aspects of the life history of C. cursitans are poorly known, and the larval stages have remained undescribed until now. We designed experiments to determine specific habitat preference, female oviposition preference, and daily activity cycles of the adults. In addition, we describe the entire pre-adult life history. Adults are most numerous on moist clay soils with sparse to patchy vegetation, but they may also occur in tall-grass prairies. Females oviposit strictly in moist soils consisting of fine particles. Adults are both diurnal and crepuscular, and presumably spend the nighttime hours hiding among vegetation. Larvae occur in the same habitats as the adults and are typically clustered near the bases of plants. The larvae are the smallest of any tiger beetle species described in North America (body length of first instars = 2.6–3.2 mm, second instars = 5.4–6.7 mm, third instars = 8.4–10.1 mm) and most similar in morphology to Cicindela debilis Bates. Knowledge of the life history and habitats used by this species will allow a better understanding of its distribution and abundance, and its association with prairie habitats. This information as well as low dispersal rates may make this species useful for assessment of habitat quality and restoration success.
New species of Phyllophaga are described from Mexican and Central American localities as follows: P. (Phytalus) godwininew species from tropical deciduous forest of Jalisco, Mexico; P. (incertae sedis) campananew species from montane tropical forest of Panama; P. (s. str.) nandalumianew species from tropical deciduous forest of Chiapas, Mexico; and P. (s. str.) crucesnew species from montane tropical forest of Costa Rica. Drawings of male genital capsules and female genital plates are provided.