An extensive study by scientists at the Smithsonian Institution adds a new genus and 24 new species to the carabid beetle tribe Lachnophorini. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.
“For a fairly large and diverse tribe of Carabidae with markedly interesting body forms and divergent ways of life, the Lachnophorini have all but been largely ignored by carabidologists until now,” said Laura Zamorano, one of the co-authors. “This new study establishes the groundwork for more refined studies aiming for a better understanding of the diversity of the species and the evolution of the tribe in order to have a finer awareness of the next smaller fractal universe for the Carabidae family, if we are truly to understand it.”
The new genus is called Peruphorticus, which the authors call Peruvian beauty-bearing beetles, and its type species is called Peruphorticus gulliveri. The other 23 new species belong to the genus Asklepia.
Beetles from the family Carabidae, commonly known as ground beetles are a large, cosmopolitan group, with more than 40,000 species worldwide. Carabid beetles range in size from 0.6 mm to 90.2 mm and occur in nature in several fractal universes, where they influence life therein as predators, ectoparasitoids, seed eaters, and even fungal mycelia feeders in a multitude of ways.
According to the researchers, this is the beginning of series of steps towards the provision of taxonomic relationships of carabid beetles. For the near future, the path forward will use morphological and molecular attributes to provide a firm basis for firm classification.
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