Some recent publications

I’ve had a few papers published in recent months that may be of interest to some. After a string of papers in 2011 focused exclusively on tiger beetles (five in all), these latest three represent sort a return to my “roots”: taxonomy and biosystematics of woodboring beetles (Buprestidae and Cerambycidae). Summaries are provided below, and hyperlinks in the citations lead to downloadable PDFs for those wishing to see the gory details.

  • MacRae, T. C. & R. L. Westcott. 2012. Nomenclatural history of Melanophila drummondi ab. nicolayi Obenberger, 1944 (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), a change of authorship and synonymy under Phaenops drummondi (Kirby 1837), and a new distribution record and summary of larval hosts for the species. The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 88(1):87–91.
    This paper can be considered of the “taxonomic housekeeping” sort. It concerns an “aberration” of the common, widespread jewel beetle species Phaenops drummondi. The current version of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN 1999) considers aberrations and other infrasubspecific (rank lower than subspecies) taxa as unavailable names with no taxonomic standing. However, they may be considered valid depending on date of publication and how they were treated by subsequent authors. In the majority of cases the guidance is clear on whether a given aberration, variety, form, etc. is considered unavailable or valid. However, there are times when multiple, conflicting interpretations are possible. The case described in this paper is one example, and even though the taxon clearly falls within the range of variability exhibited by the parent species, careful study of multiple provisions of The Code were required to determine its proper status. In the end, a change of authorship followed by formal synonymy were deemed the best course of action. Updated information on the distribution of P. drummondi and a summary of known larval hosts are also provided.
  • MacRae, T. C., L. G. Bezark & I. Swift. 2012. Notes on distribution and host plants of Cerambycidae (Coleoptera) from southern México. The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 88(2):173–184.
    From 2004–2006 I made three collecting trips to México with my friend and colleague, Chuck Bellamy. Our main focus was the rich diversity of jewel beetles that occur in the relatively intact, dry, tropical thorn forests that stretch across the southern states of Guerrero, Michoacan, Oaxaca, and Puebla, and in this respect we were quite successful. I also have an interest in longhorned beetles, but I try to limit my scope in this family to the Nearctic fauna and didn’t specifically target these beetles during those trips. Still, many species were encountered during the course of beating potential jewel beetle host plants. As with jewel beetles, the longhorned beetle fauna of México is rich but very incompletely known, with distributional data below the country level and knowledge of host plants lacking or inadequate for most species. This paper presents specific distributional and host plant information for 78 species in 50 genera of longhorned beetles collected during those trips. Included within the data presented are 47 new state records, 47 new adult host records, and 60 new flower records.
  • Steury, B. W., T. C. MacRae & E. T. Oberg. 2012. Annotated list of the metallic wood-boring beetles (Insecta: Coleoptera: Buprestidae) of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Fairfax County, Virginia.  Banisteria 39:71–75.
    Lead author Brent Steury of the U.S. National Park Service contacted me last year about identifying jewel beetles that had been collected at a number of units in the George Washington Memorial Parkway during recent BioBlitz surveys and as by-catch from studies targeting other arthropods. The surveys were worthy of reporting on, as 23 species in nine jewel beetle genera were represented in the material collected—including two species reported for the first time from Virginia: Paragrilus tenuis (LeConte) and Pachyschelus purpureus purpureus (Say). Information is also provided on the collecting methods used during the surveys, with Malaise traps, hand netting, and pan traps being the only ones successful in capturing jewel beetles (Lindgren funnel and pitfall traps did not capture any).


International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature [ICZN]. 1999. International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, 4th Edition. The International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, c/o Natural History Museum, London. xxix + 306 pp.

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2012


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