The subfamily Parandrinae is one of the most challenging Cerambycidae groups when it comes to identification. Prior to the work of Santos-Silva, Heffern and Matsuda, Philippine Parandrinae was lumped under a single species: Parandra janus BATES 1875.
Last July 2010, Insecta Mundi finally published the long awaited paper of the three authors: Revision of Hawaiian, Australasian, Oriental, and Japanese Parandrinae (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae) wherein they took on the gargantuan task of putting order into this very complex group. I was asked to contribute some specimens from my collection plus those from my friend Eduard Vives. The result? Seven new species of Parandrinae for the Philippines alone!
Check out my updated Parandrinae checklist. Now, I’m in the process of identifying the rest of my specimens in my collection.
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.
I was invited by my friend, Raegan, the world authority on Philippine Odonata to a brief trip to Epol Waterfalls in Marilog District, Davao City a few weeks ago. A two hour bus ride from the city, the area is already disturbed with secondary stands of forest. It is also a popular place for day trippers visiting the cascade.
I’m not so hopeful of getting new species on the families that I collect but it is always a good thing to go out with like minded persons and best of all, there was no competition as he was concentrating only on Odonata while I focus on Coleoptera. Of course, having been assigned in Davao City for a total of two years before, I’ve been in the area and, more or less, know what to find.
I was able to collect two species of Metapocyrtus (subgenus Metapocyrtus and subgenus Trachycyrtus) but what surprised me most was the presence of Pachyrhynchus (probably samarensis) all found on tree bark.
There were three species of tiger beetles, Cicindelidae: 2 species of Therates and one Neocollyris. Curiously, even with the presence of streams in shaded areas, there were no Thopeutica.
Beetles. I’ve been amazed at these marvelous and interesting insects, that, though the biggest insect order, and for a tropical country, here in the Philippines, is often overlooked.
For the 7th edition of An Inordinate Fondness blog carnival, which salagubang.net is hosting, let’s focus on the beautiful and interesting species that I’ve found in several blogs.
Kurt of Malaysia has very interesting giraffe beetle (Cycnotrchelus sp.) images. I’ve only seen a few species here in the field but the macro photographer was even able to photograph a female building its nest!
Alex Wild a.k.a. Myrmecos had an encounter with the fiery searcher, Calosoma scrutator that, according to him, is a stinker.
In the same blog, he has another beautiful beetle shot, this time, its the Hollyhock weevil, Rhopalapion longirostre laying an egg on a flower bud.
Dave Stone presents us with a lycid, Lycus arizonensis which we learn to be diurnal pollen feeders found in Arizona and Mexico.
Lots of weevils in this post! Here’s another one by Adrian Thysse with his rose curculio with his interesting account of the beetle’s playing dead, a defensive mechanism.
Shh… there’s a couple having sex there. Steve Willson brings us an (almost) blow by blow account of tiger beetles mating. But more than that, he’s a keen observer of beetle behavior that is recounted in his post.
A European cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha) spreading its wings to fly. This photo is one of four at the blog.
A really beautiful jewel beetle, Ted MacRae tells us the story behind his photograph of Buprestis rufipes that a blog reader sent him.
Amber Coakley has a fascinating encounter with a Cicindela punctulata as she was trying out her new macro lens. Check out her post for more images of this beetle.
Hey, these might not be the cutest but this group, dung beetles, are one of the more fascinating. For Margarethe, they actually saved her life.
JSK posts about Buprestis lineata and how it is camouflaged in its surroundings.
And of course, to finish this post, is my own, “Alcidodes sp. in the wilds of Bohol” a short account of seeing a weevil from this genus.
Thanx to Ted MacRae for this opportunity as well as pointing me out to additional links for this blog carnival.
While waiting for the Tarsier Center to open at 9 AM in Corella, Bohol, me and my friend Eduard, who was in the country for a few weeks vacation, checked the surrounding vegetation for beetles. It was dismal, so to speak, and unusual, that on a sunny day, there wasn’t much beetle activity going on.
While walking, however, I came up to this plant where there were several Alcidodes sp. with yellowish spots feeding on the leaves. Some were just clinging on one side and when I came close, hid by going to the leaf’s underside. This kind of Alcidodes is one of three groups that Schultze categorized.
The area is a mix of secondary forest and clearings especially along the road. It is a known habitat of the tarsier (Tarsius syrichta), a primate common in this province. Other than this species, I was also able to collect two Metapocyrtus sp..