Thursday, 20 May 2010

South American Weevils

This, the next website on the weevils of the world, is the extremely indepth website of Juan Enrique Barriga-Tuñón on the beetles of South America. As is expected, this is an extremely ambitious project and the fact that it has such a range of photos from several orders and numerous countries speaks of the passion of its creator.

The photos are of varying quality from well-focussed, well-coloured dorsal and lateral images that would no doubt be invaluable for identification (such as the Acrotomopus obtusus pictured here); to dark, poorly-focussed images that are of little value for identification purposes.

Several pages include short species accounts that include specimen labels and reference lists. The species from Argentina in particular frequently have these species pages devoted to them. The site is in Spanish, however there no block of spanish prose and the navigation is straight-forward enought that I (who is not known for my grasp of spanish) was able to get around easily.

Having a cursory scroll through many of the species listson the site, it strikes me that these countries don't seem to have too many genera, but that many of these genera have a huge number of species in them. Naupactus and Listronotus are a couple of the cases in point in the Argentina list above. Whether this is evidence of some hyper-radiations in the evolution of these things, or merely that these particular genera have had more taxonomic work done on them than the others I don't have the familiarity with the region and the fauna to tell.

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