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Unknown species and larval stages of extremely long-legged beetles discovered by DNA test
Date:10/18/2011

This release is available in German.

The research program AQUA Palawana has been exploring the unique freshwater biodiversity of the Philippine Island and biosphere reserve of Palawan for more than a decade. Scientists from the Senckenberg Museum of Zoology Dresden and the Bavarian State Collections of Zoology in Munich have now described larvae and a new species of the curious Spider Water Beetles (Ancyronyx) from this biodiversity hotspot. Their study was realized in cooperation with the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development and the De La Salle University Manila.

The scientists conducting this study, Hendrik Freitag and Michael Balke, used mitochondrial DNA, which should be identical in all developmental stages in a species, to assign the previously unknown larval stages to adult imagines. This method was very useful because the outside appearance of immature and mature stages of holometabolous insects look completely different and would not allow an easy assignment to each other.

The studied insects of the genus Ancyronyx have extremely long legs, often accompanied by an eye-catching cross-like elytral colour pattern, so that they remind of spiders. In point of fact they are "Riffle Beetles" (Elmidae) that are able to breathe through a plastron, a microfilm of air around their body surf
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Contact: Dr. Hendrik Freitag
hendrik.freitag@senckenberg.de
49-180-355-187-9195
Pensoft Publishers
Source:Eurekalert  

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Unknown species and larval stages of extremely long-legged beetles discovered by DNA test
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