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Mon Jun 22, 2020, 07:32 PM

Undergraduate student discovers 18 new species of aquatic beetle in South America

Undergraduate student discovers 18 new species of aquatic beetle in South America
Date:
June 22, 2020
Source:
University of Kansas
Summary:
An undergraduate student has just published a description of 18 new species of aquatic water beetle from the genus Chasmogenus.


It would be striking for a seasoned entomologist with decades of fieldwork to discover such a large number of species unknown to science. But for University of Kansas student Rachel Smith, an undergraduate majoring in ecology & evolutionary biology, the find is extraordinary: Smith recently published a description of 18 new species of aquatic water beetle from the genus Chasmogenus in the peer-reviewed journal ZooKeys.

"The average size of these beetles, I would say, is about the size of a capital 'O' in a 12-point font," said Smith of the collection of new species. "They spend a lot of their life in forest streams and pools. They're aquatic, so they're all great swimmers -- and they can fly."

The research involved Smith traveling to Suriname to perform fieldwork as well as passing countless hours in the lab of Andrew Short, associate professor of ecology & evolutionary biology and associate curator with KU's Biodiversity Institute, who co-wrote the new paper.

Smith said many of the aquatic beetle species are virtually indistinguishable simply by looking at them, even under a microscope.

More:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200622133024.htm

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Review of the genus Chasmogenus Sharp, 1882 of northeastern South America with an emphasis on Venezuela, Suriname, and Guyana (Coleoptera, Hydrophilidae, Acidocerinae)
expand article infoRachel R. Smith, Andrew Edward Z. Short

https://zookeys.pensoft.net/article/49359/

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UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT DISCOVERS 18 NEW SPECIES OF AQUATIC BEETLE IN SOUTH AMERICA
Mon, 06/22/2020



LAWRENCE — It would be striking for a seasoned entomologist with decades of fieldwork to discover such a large number of species unknown to science. But for University of Kansas student Rachel Smith, an undergraduate majoring in ecology & evolutionary biology, the find is extraordinary: Smith recently published a description of 18 new species of aquatic water beetle from the genus Chasmogenus in the peer-reviewed journal ZooKeys.





“The average size of these beetles, I would say, is about the size of a capital ‘O’ in a 12-point font,” said Smith of the collection of new species. “They spend a lot of their life in forest streams and pools. They’re aquatic, so they’re all great swimmers — and they can fly.”

The research involved Smith traveling to Suriname to perform fieldwork as well as passing countless hours in the lab of Andrew Short, associate professor of ecology & evolutionary biology and associate curator with KU’s Biodiversity Institute, who co-wrote the new paper.

Smith said many of the aquatic beetle species are virtually indistinguishable simply by looking at them, even under a microscope.

“Something unique and fascinating about this genus, particularly the ones I worked on, is that many look almost exactly the same,” she said. “Even to my trained eye, it’s hard to tell them apart just based on external morphology. Their uniqueness is in there but kind of hidden in this very uniform external morphology.”

More:
http://today.ku.edu/2020/06/11/undergraduate-student-discovers-18-new-species-aquatic-beetle-south-america

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Reply Undergraduate student discovers 18 new species of aquatic beetle in South America (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 22 OP
Xipe Totec Jun 22 #1
Judi Lynn Jun 22 #2
Xipe Totec Jun 22 #3
eppur_se_muova Jun 26 #4

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 07:35 PM

1. Beetle mania is for the young. nt

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 09:02 PM

2. Yep. Those whippersnappers are just young and wild, bless their hearts. n/t

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 09:37 PM

3. ...

?w=460&h=475

Perhaps I was a little too subtle.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jun 26, 2020, 09:50 AM

4. "The Creator Has an Inordinate Fondness for Beetles"

{J.B.S.} Haldane discussed the prevalence of stars and beetles in his book “What is life?” published in the 1940s:

"The Creator would appear as endowed with a passion for stars, on the one hand, and for beetles on the other, for the simple reason that there are nearly 300,000 species of beetle known, and perhaps more, as compared with somewhat less than 9,000 species of birds and a little over 10,000 species of mammals. Beetles are actually more numerous than the species of any other insect order. That kind of thing is characteristic of nature."


https://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/06/23/beetles/

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