Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unearthed: A treasure trove of jewel-like beetles

Date:
October 15, 2013
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
The histerid beetle genus Baconia is distinguishable by the peculiar flat shape and the metallic body coloration ranging between beautiful blue, green and violet tones. A recent article provides a pioneering detailed revision of the genus, solving taxonomic puzzles around this enigmatic group of beetles and adding an impressive 85 new species.

This image shows one of the new species, Baconia katieae, a rare example of body maculation.
Credit: Michael S. Caterino; CC-BY 3.0

The bottomless pit of insect biodiversity has yielded a treasure trove of new species of jewel-like clown beetles. In a paper published today in the journal ZooKeys, Michael Caterino and Alexey Tishechkin of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History describe 85 new species in the genus Baconia, renowned for their brilliant coloration and bizarrely flattened body forms. The new species bring the genus up to 116 total species.

Related Articles


The new species, mainly from North and South America, were discovered through studies of numerous museum collections, as well as the authors' own fieldwork.

'Although the genus Baconia was originally named in honor of Francis Bacon the Elizabethan philosopher, Francis Bacon the experimental artist would also be a fitting namesake for these fantastic beetles', says the study's lead author Caterino.

While many groups of beetles are known for spectacular color patterns, they are rare and little-appreciated in the clown beetle family, Histeridae. 'Even beetle specialists are amazed by the fantastic colors of Baconia', observes Caterino. What purposes the colors may serve, however, remains a mystery. 'In natural history terms, the species of Baconia aren't very different from several other groups of clown beetles with similar habits, but much duller coloration'.

Their beautiful bodies conceal a vicious disposition, as the species are mostly believed to stalk and eat wood-boring beetles and their larvae. Some are even drawn to pheromones of bark beetles, using their own seductive odors against them. The flattened bodies of many of the species let them pursue their prey deep under the bark of recently killed trees.

That the little jewels remained hidden for so long may be partly attributed to their extreme rarity. Although more than 20 museums' collections were assembled for the study, nearly half the species are still known from only one or two specimens. 'Biodiversity science is humbling', admits Caterino. While the study provides a wealth of new data on a neglected group of beetles, 'We know it's still the tip of the iceberg'.

'Our greatest hope is that by calling attention to the existence of such exquisite creatures, we will inspire others to go out and seek out new populations and data.'


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael Caterino, Alexey Tishechkin. A systematic revision of Baconia Lewis (Coleoptera,Histeridae, Exosternini). ZooKeys, 2013; 343: 1 DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.343.5744

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "Unearthed: A treasure trove of jewel-like beetles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015123704.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2013, October 15). Unearthed: A treasure trove of jewel-like beetles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015123704.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "Unearthed: A treasure trove of jewel-like beetles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015123704.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins