Collecting beetles is enjoyable not only because of the adventure in the pursuit and the beauty that these insects display with their color and variety but more importantly, it is the satisfaction of contributing in broadening the knowledge of Philippine Coleoptera. Beetles are the biggest insect order in the world and, in the case of the Philippines, it is very much understudied.
Over the years, I have kept in touch with various entomologists and Coleoptera specialists and three names crop up in helping me make this important undertaking:
- Eduard Vives (Cerambycidae, several species)
- Charles Bellamy (Buprestidae, one species)
- Fabio Cassola (Cicindelidae, one species)
I’m very thankful for these gentlemen especially with Eduard who I’ve met twice. He has followed in the footsteps of the great entomologists who have studied Philippine Cerambycidae like Hudepohl, Breuning, Schultze, Heller, etc. What started as an inquiry a few years ago on specimens of Philippine Lepturinae that I have in the course of his study of this group in the Southeast Asian region has broadened into a keen interest with the other Cerambycid subfamilies.
Because of this collaborations, I have contributed to the discovery of several new species that are either published or awaiting publication as well as suspected to be new and are being studied. For now, these are about 20 species, and growing. For a complete list of these fascinating beetles, READ further.
I got great news regarding the Parandra sp. found in the country! I just got an email from Dan Heffern that their study (together with Antonio Santos-Silva) of Parandrinae in Asia has yielded 4-5 new species belonging to a new genus! Isn’t that great?
In the Philippines, Hudepohl, in his The Longhorn Beetles of the Philippines Part II, included Parandra janus BATES 1875, the only one to occur in the country. With this new development, the Parandrinae fauna will be increased.
As the two entomologists are still continuing with their study, more specimens from the country are needed. I will send mine when I will get back to Cebu. In the meantime, I have photographed the heads of the different specimens I have and will be posting it soon. When my notebook computer will be okay. 🙂
I just got an email from Eduard Vives and Joan Bentanachs and they informed me that they have identified the Callichromatini specimens I have posted about yesterday. The first two are Polyzonus schmidti SCHWARZER 1926 male (right) and female (far right). This species has been recorded in Luzon, Sibuyan and Mindanao. This also confirm my assumption in yesterday’s post that this species is dimorphic.
The third specimen is a new and still undescribed Polyznus sp. The two entomologists are currently doing a study of Asian Callichromatini and have published a number of papers with new species as well as revisions of existing ones. They will describe this in an upcoming paper.
What a very pleasant surprise when I just discovered that I seem to have three different Callichromatini species that I haven’t noticed before. All were collected in the same locality in Bukidnon, Mindanao. I was going over my collection when I became suspicious of three specimens that I have known to be a Polyzonus. I set up my camera, took photos and upon close inspection of the images, voila! my hunch proved correct.
The first one is what Joan Bentanachs and Eduard Vives identified as a new Polyzonus sp. Like the pronotum of Polyzonus schmidti, the overal shape is quadrate, right. You can click on the images for a more detailed look. Compared with the other two, the elytra is greener and the sutural sheen yellow green. A thin green line runs parallel to the edges.
In the second specimen, corresponding to the middle photo above, the structure of the pronotum is different and gives the impression that it is shorter and rounder than the first. The elytra is more subdued, a darker green, and the sutural color is golden yellow. Really, if the two are compared based on the characteristics mentioned, I would think that these are two different species. However, there is also the possibility that these are of the same species if we take into account the possibility of sexual dimorphism.
The last specimen is a bit different from the other two. First, the form of the pronotum is more rounded. Its surface has a metallic blue green sheen. The scutellum is not as acute.The sutural stripe is not as consistent from base to apex. The elytra is shorter and more rounded while the colors of the first segment of the fore and middle legs is metallic bluish green. I’m not sure if this can be another species of Chelidonium but definitely, it is not C. monticola based on the pronotum and which can be found in the higher altitudes of Luzon.
I have already referred this to the two entomologists mentioned above. Both are working on the tribe Callichromatini and have been publishing their studies for a time now. I just hope that these are all new species.
According to Eduard Vives and Joan Bentanachs-Calvo through emails, this is a new Polyzonus species. This is said to be different from the lone Polyzonus species in the country: P. schmidti SCHWARZER 1926. The two authors are collaborating together and will publish their findings in the future.