Tuesday, 2 October 2012

PhD week 30: Epitimetes lutosus

Epitimetes lutosus Pascoe (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Entiminae)

The best things always happen serendipitously. Over the past week I got asked to identify some weevils that had turned up in some pitfall traps set by one of the research institutes on the Canterbury Plains. They were Epitimetes lutosus Pascoe, a weevil that was described from Christchurch and by all accounts is endemic to the plains. It is represented in national insect collections by less than 30 species, and its larvae and biology are unknown.

A jar full of Epitimetes lutosus

I was pretty excited by this find and asked for more, if they managed to get some. I got a call a few days later saying they got some others, and if I could come and pick them up. I arrived to find the container pictured above—literally hundreds of specimens from a single agricultural field. Plenty enough for pinning, dissecting, extracting DNA, and generally essentially anything else one would require specimens for!

   Borg MJ. 2001. Reading the Bible Again for the First Time. HarperOne, New York.
   McCulloch D. 2010. A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years London: Penguin
   Psalms 119–122

Huffington Post—Reef fishes of the East Indies Book release
XKCD—Click and Drag

Project 86—Wait for the Siren