Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Featured insect: Polyrhanis dabraensis (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae)

Tiger beetles (family Cicindelidae) are active predators as adults, pursuing their prey by running and flying. The larvae are bizarre looking things, and catch their prey by sitting and waiting in holes in clay banks and the like (such as one I found in my youth in the Solomon Islands that had taken up residence in a spent WWII rifle cartridge)

Polyrhanis dabraensis is a beautiful tiger beetle from Western New Guinea that was recently described by Andrey Matalin and Fabio Cassola. The insect fauna of this region is fairly poorly known, but the tiger beetles are doing fairly well for themselves. A total of 64 species are known from the region, though undoubtedly more are yet to be discovered. A list of the known species is available on the Website of the Papua Insects Foundation, which also includes images for a select number of species.

Picture courtesy of the Korean Society of Applied Entomology, Taiwan Entomological Society and the Malaysian Plant Protection Society.


Matalin AV, Cassola F. 2012. A new species of the genus Polyrhanis Rivalier, 1963 (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae) from Papua (New Guinea, Indonesia). Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology 15(1): 196-199.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Bishop Museum Occasional Papers

I thought that I had blogged here before regarding the availability of the Bishop Museum Occasional Papers; but it seems that I was mistaken. Suffice to say, the Bishop Museum is in the process of digitising the issues of BMOP and making them available online. It is actively occuring—today I was able to see a few articles that were unavailable previously. The Occasional Papers and pretty much everything published by the Bishop Museum form a immensely valuable body of knowledge for South Pacific biology; and it should be considered a first port-of-call for anyone keen on the fauna and flora of the region.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Moorean Insects on Flickr

The Moorea Biocode is an ambitious project that aims to DNA barcode every organism on the island of Moorea in French Polynesia.The project has an online database with records of the specimens collected thus far, many of which contain photographs (e.g. the weevil gallery). There's also a Flickr stream that have a number of nice photos, including the beautiful Cranopoeus pictured above, and a cool-looking Proterhinus.

Unfortunately, it's still a little to early to really see the benefits of the project. The DNA sequences are not yet available (as far as I can tell); and many of the photos above are unidentified, or worse, misidentified at the family level. The project has great potential, but we'll have to wait a little while longer before the above resources become really useful for South Pacific zoology.

Picture courtesy of the Moorea Biocode Flickr stream