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Where are the Philippine Lepturinaes?


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Metalloleptura prasina HELLER 1913

It’s quite mind boggling that the Philippines, when compared with Borneo, mainland Southeast Asia and Taiwan has a dismal record number of longhorns from the subfamily Lepturinae. To date, two tribes are represented only with a total of eight species: Lepturini, with seven species from six genera and one species of Rhamnusiini as outlined in the checklist.

This is in light of the high endemicity levels in the country with many interesting islands. In my collection alone, all from Mindanao, I only have five species of which one, Heffernia filipina VIVES 2005 (tribe Rhamnusiini) is a new species. These were all high altitude cerambycids, which I consider all Lepturinae to be.

In the case of Palawan, I’m not so sure if there are listed Lepturinae species either endemic or not and this is quite a pity that this island is a part of Sundaland, an extension of the Bornean fauna where there are lots of these.

Maybe a good explanation is this: there is a lack of serious collecting in the higher elevations of the country. Palawan may hold several new species or records. Mindanao and Luzon should also be sampled as well as the major islands in between. If this is done, perhaps, we can push the number higher.