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Disappointing beetle collecting trip in Cebu

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Tabunan forest

Stream inside the Tabunan Forest

Tabunan forest

Tabunan forest stands

I’ve long since wanted to do some field collecting in the remaining stands of forests in my home province, Cebu, and when that opportunity came last Monday, I grabbed a chance to accompany a friend in the hinterlands of Cebu City, specifically, in Tabunan. This is one of the last and smallest forests in the province (or whatever’s left of it) and I wasn’t really prepared for what came before me.

It was rather disappointing. Of the beetle species that I got, majority are the small Metapocyrtus and related Curculionid species, an Onthophagus sp. as well as three specimens of tiger beetles: Tricondyla sp. (species punctipennis and a smaller one). Even Thopeutica and Therates sp. were no shows even if my companion was able to collect several from a previous trip.

I’m not sure but it could have been due to the unfavorable month, December, wherein less insects are found. On the other hand, I was quite sad with the state of this forest. It’s so disturbed and much has been logged over or parceled into farmlands. Settlers have encroached. There were already many areas that have been made into vegetable farms.

On the bright side, I was able to collect three species of Metapocyrtus which should be studied as Schultze, in his monograph of the Pachyrrhynchini never mentioned a species from this island.